Jämställdhet i akademin: En avpolitiserad politik?
2012 (Swedish)In: Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap, ISSN 1654-5443, no 1-2, 75-94 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article examines the relationship between gender equality and neo liberal governmentality in Swedish higher education. Neo liberal governmentality, such as market orientation, deregulation and audit technologies have to an increasingly extent been incorporated into, and shaped the very nature of Swedish academia. Yet, at the same time as the government has reduced direct steering of higher education, it has launched gender equality initiatives in the form of funding for temporary projects targeted at the academia. Against this backdrop, we are interested in analysing the relationship between gender equality policies and these new technologies of steering. We have analysed the government’s latest political initiative on gender equality, The Delegation for Gender Equality in Higher Education, and conducted interviews with academics and civil servants engaged in gender equality work at three Swedish universities. Adopting a Foucauldian framework, it is suggested that the two main forms of neo-liberal governmentality – marketisation and managerialism – are integrated parts of gender equality work, contributing to a de-politicisation of gender equality. While most informants described their work in terms of managerialism and martketisation, some expressed sceptical views and argued that competitiveness is a problematic way of doing gender equality. In order for gender equality to be ”marketable” and possible to sell, it has to be formulated in a way that does not appear too controversial, some argued. Interestingly, yet another form of governmentality was found to be central in the interviews – the wish for leadership. The lack of political steering (or state regulation) of gender equality has paradoxically lead to a situation in which calls for leadership appear legitimate and hierarchies within the university in general remain in large unproblematised.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. no 1-2, 75-94 p.
Gender equality, neo-liberalism, governmentality, higher education, interview-study
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-63822OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-63822DiVA: diva2:583862