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Men are like a chest of drawers- women are like a wardrobe: A qualitative comparative study about gender structure within The Church of Sweden
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

1958 was the year women became recognized as priests in The Church of Sweden- this event formed the initial idea for the study. This is a qualitative comparative inquiry, which seeks to understand gender structures within The Church of Sweden. It has its focus on men and women’s working conditions, which includes their experience of reality and their experienced differences and similarities in their role as priests. Six priests from one concealed diocese have been interviewed and the methodological approach is induction, which has been applied to best ability. Cross-case analysis has been implemented to enable comparison of gender conditions. Through the stage of analysis the data have been interpreted with an open mindset and was not structured in groups by male vs. female. This allowed patterns to emerge with all possibilities, not only with gender taken into consideration. Organizational and gender theories along with previous research have been the main resource for this project. The historian Yvonne Hirdman and the scientist Rosabeth Moss Kanter are two theorists in whom the results are mainly based upon, together with statements and quotations from my informants. The findings in this thesis are due to structural and gender mechanisms. A suggestion to discard the theological conviction and defining resentment against female priests as an issue solely determined by working environmental problem is to be considered. The main differences found in gender due to a structural consequence are the experience of career opportunities and discrimination. It is clear that the structure of The Church of Sweden limits ones career opportunities within a position but also sets limitations due to the lack of higher alternative positions. The women in my study have been victims of the structural powers of men and/or organizations, which could be understood through Kanter´s three-factor theory. The female priests are all struggling with their working description, the assumption of gender difference in this issue is to be drawn. This is also true when it comes to the informant’s role as priests. There are expected differences in leadership between men and women and women are being compared to their male colleges which is an indication of Hirdman´s theory A vs. a. Female vicars working conditions as well as the hierarchy system of The Church of Sweden are suggestions of further studies in the field.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 58 p.
Keyword [en]
Gender, priest, women, discrimination, career, leadership, resentment against female priests, organisation
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16760ISRN: LIU-IBL/SOC-G--08/016--SEOAI: diva2:160492
Subject / course
Sociology, G-level
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2009-02-17 Created: 2009-02-13 Last updated: 2011-10-26Bibliographically approved

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McGee, Maria
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