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Contradictory values in doctoral education: a study of gender composition in disciplines in Swedish academia
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2011 (English)In: Higher Education, ISSN 0018-1560, E-ISSN 1573-174X, Vol. 62, no 1, 113-127 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Contradictory values in the Swedish doctoral education system are analysed through an interview and survey study of different academic disciplines: female-dominated, mixed and male-dominated. The focus is directed towards how the selected disciplines conduct application and selection processes in doctoral education and special attention is given to values regarding doctoral ideals, what a successful thesis should be like, how gender balance or imbalance is explained, and how activities aiming at gender equality are carried out. In the findings of this study, some specific patterns that show gendered discipline cultures in relation to doctoral education are apparent. The analysis shows an unclear or ambivalent view on gender and gender equality work in doctoral educations. In many of the issues investigated, essentialist views on gender emerge and a focus on gender differences is evident. The implicit assumption is that men and women are different and contribute to the discipline in disparate ways. The effectiveness of genderspecific doctoral strategies and to what extent gender equality work is viewed as a support strategy for women only, is discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Science + Business Media B.V. , 2011. Vol. 62, no 1, 113-127 p.
Keyword [en]
Higher education, Doctoral education, Values, Gender equality, Academic discipline
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-44399DOI: 10.1007/s10734-010-9369-8OAI: diva2:421071
Available from: 2011-06-07 Created: 2011-06-07 Last updated: 2011-06-07Bibliographically approved

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Haake, Ulrika
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