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Vardagens könsinnebörder under förhandling: om arbete, familj och produktion av kvinnlighet
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
1998 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Everyday negotiations of gender : work, family and the production of femininity (English)
Abstract [en]

The subject of this study was Swedish women's experiences of their everyday lives as lived between the demands of work and family. Twenty female civil servants were interviewed six times each over a three and a half year period when their work places underwent organizational changes.

One purpose of the study was to investigate how women while managing everyday demands reproduce or transform the meanings of gender in their own lives. A second purpose was to discuss the impact of these processes on women's self-understandings and ways of relating to power and issues of gender equality, as well as the meanings of "femininity" in their lives.

The repeated semi-structured interviews were analysed using two qualitative approaches: the first focused on the ways individual women understood and negotiated their everyday lives. It yielded four main areas of negotiation: the personal biography as a dynamic context in which a woman understands her experiences; the balancing between work and family generally managed by women; women's often somewhat ambiguous personal fit at work; and the striving for subject positions at work. In the second approach discourse analysis was used to study how gender is locally reproduced or transformed from personal experiences set in specific discursive contexts. Modes of understanding were in focus; i.e. the different ways women may integrate experiences as parts of their sense of self, depending mainly on social positionings. Important discursive themes were the women's self-presentations, their experiences of gender equality and power differentials, and their ways of relating to femininity.

The dissertation also discusses the types of psychological theory best suited to the historically changeable contents of "femininity", in contrast to its more stable relational qualitites of subordination vs. superordination, and argues for theory situated in a feminist social constructionist framework.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1998. , 291 p.
Keyword [en]
gender, work-family conflict, women's everyday lives, organizational change, discourse analysis, modes of understanding, social constructionism, life history, feminist psychology
National Category
Psychology Gender Studies Work Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-81946ISBN: 91-7191-436-6OAI: diva2:659083
Available from: 2013-10-24 Created: 2013-10-24 Last updated: 2013-10-24Bibliographically approved

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