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Soldiers and secretaries: Gendered boundary work in the Swedish Armed Forces
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2010 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Management, ISSN 0956-5221, E-ISSN 1873-3387, Vol. 26, no 2, 166-175 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

What happens when intersecting relations of gender and occupation are challenged by organizational change? In the present article, I explore this question based on a case study in the Swedish Armed Forces; an organization that is currently in a state of substantial transformation. Instead of defending the nations borders against armed attack, the purpose is now to participate in peacekeeping operations worldwide. When informants construct the "New Armed Forces", they envision changed patterns of both gender and occupation. I show how gender and occupation intersect in informants use of metaphors and images, analyse constructions of gendered occupational boundaries and problematize their visions for the future. I also add new dimensions to existing research by gendering the theory of boundary work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2010. Vol. 26, no 2, 166-175 p.
Keyword [en]
Boundary work; Gender relations; Occupational demarcations; Organizational boundaries; Armed Forces; Military profession; Civilian employees
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-58357DOI: 10.1016/j.scaman.2009.12.004ISI: 000278721100005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-58357DiVA: diva2:343337
Note

Original Publication: Alma Persson , Soldiers and secretaries: Gendered boundary work in the Swedish Armed Forces, 2010, Scandinavian Journal of Management, (26), 2, 166-175. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scaman.2009.12.004 Copyright: Elsevier http://www.elsevier.com/

Available from: 2010-08-13 Created: 2010-08-11 Last updated: 2017-12-12
In thesis
1. Changing boundaries, defending boundaries: Gender relations in the Swedish Armed Forces
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Changing boundaries, defending boundaries: Gender relations in the Swedish Armed Forces
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Att förändra och försvara gränser : Genusrelationer i den svenska Försvarsmakten
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to show how gender is done in the Swedish Armed Forces, against the backdrop of its transition into an international defence organization and the international resolutions that call for gender mainstreaming in peacekeeping operations. In the so-called “New Armed Forces”, traditional demarcations that have separated civilian employees from members of the military officer profession are no longer self-evident. At the same time, what it means to be men and women in the military is changing.

Three empirical studies form the basis of the thesis. The first consists of qualitative interviews with women pioneers in the military officer profession, and discusses how gender relations in the Swedish military have changed since the inclusion of women. The second addresses the intersecting relations of gender and occupation and is based on interviews with strategic and executive actors in the Armed Forces Headquarters. The third, ethnographic, study follows a military unit preparing for a peacekeeping mission. It focuses on gender relations in everyday work and shows how the ongoing transformation changes what it means to be military men and women.

The thesis is informed by feminist studies of organization, critical studies of men and masculinities, research on professions and occupations, and military studies. A “doing gender” approach and a relational view of both gender and occupations guide the analysis. The analysis shows how established ways of doing gender are changed and reproduced in military practices, how the emphasis on peacekeeping reshapes gender relations in military work, and how organizational boundaries are maintained and deconstructed in organizational practices. Theoretically, the thesis contributes by developing tools for analysing the practising of gender in organizations. The concept of boundary work is elaborated into a tool for analysing how demarcations of gender and occupation are accomplished in work practices. The concept Repair work is employed to capture the complexities of doing masculinities in organizations, by looking closely at situations where the everyday practising of gender is disturbed.

Abstract [sv]

Denna avhandling syftar till att visa hur genus görs i den svenska Försvarsmakten, mot bakgrund av organisationens förändring från invasionsförsvar till insatsförsvar. Denna process kopplas till kraven på jämställdhetsintegrering inom fredsbevarande arbete. I den så kallade ”nya Försvarsmakten” är de gränser som tidigare skilt civilanställda från yrkesofficerare inte längre självklara. Samtidigt förändras de innebörder som kön ges i organisationen.

Avhandlingen bygger på tre empiriska studier. Den första består av kvalitativa intervjuer med några av de första kvinnliga yrkesofficerarna i Sverige och diskuterar hur genusrelationerna har förändras sedan kvinnor gavs tillträde till officersyrket. Den andra, som inriktar sig på hur genus- och yrkesrelationer samverkar, bygger på intervjuer med aktörer på ledande och strategiska positioner i Försvarsmaktens högkvarter. Den tredje studien är etnografisk och följer ett internationellt insatsförband under förberedelserna för en fredsbevarande insats. Den undersöker hur genusrelationer skapas i det dagliga arbetet och visar hur den pågående förändringen omformar de betydelser som kvinnor och män tillskrivs i militären.

Den tidigare forskning som avhandlingen knyter an till är genus- och organisationsforskning, kritiska studier av män och maskulinitet, forskning om yrken och professioner samt samhällsvetenskapliga militärstudier. Genomgående används ett ”doing gender”-perspektiv samt ett relationellt förhållningsätt till genus såväl som yrke. Analysen visar hur etablerade sätt att göra kön förändras och reproduceras i militära praktiker, hur betoningen på fredsbevarande arbete omformar genusrelationer samt hur gränser upprätthålls och dekonstrueras i organisatoriska praktiker. Avhandlingen bidrar med nya teoretiska verktyg för att förstå genuspraktiker i organisationer. Begreppet gränsarbete vidareutvecklas till ett begrepp som visar hur genus- och yrkesgränser görs i det dagliga arbetet. Begreppet reparationsarbete tydliggör de komplexa praktiker genom vilka maskulinitet görs då det vardagliga genusskapandet sätts ur spel.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011. 95 + papers 1-4 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 546
Keyword
Gender, gender relations, military, civilian employees, organization, Resolution 1325, change, masculinities, homosociality, boundary work, repair work, peacekeeping, Sweden, Genus, genusrelationer, militären, civilanställda, organisation, Resolution 1325, förändring, maskuliniteter, homosocialitet, gränsarbete, reparationsarbete, fredsbevarande arbete, Sverige
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-71257 (URN)978-91-7393-060-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-10-28, VAL, Vallfarten, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-10-07 Created: 2011-10-07 Last updated: 2014-10-09Bibliographically approved

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