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Graduates "doing gender" as early career professionals
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Studies in Adult, Popular and Higher Education. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
2010 (English)In: Career development international, ISSN 1362-0436, Vol. 15, no 4, 324-337 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]






– The purpose of this paper is to explore how early career professionals “do gender” in their

new professional context. Specifically, it explores how two groups of graduates, psychologists and

political scientists, “do gender” as early career professionals with a particular emphasis on how they

acquire legitimacy in relation to their colleagues and clients.



– Drawing on a qualitative research methodology, graduates from

two Master’s programmes in Sweden were interviewed after 30-34 months of professional work.

Analysis of the interview data is located within a “doing gender” perspective with special reference to

Acker’s conception of employment and organizations as gendered processes influencing individual




– The paper identifies two different ways in which participants “do gender” in their

professional practice in order to acquire legitimacy: “self-presentation” and “strategy”. This finding

suggests that female and male early career professionals acquire different kinds of legitimacy, which

could, in turn, be derived from the gendered processes that exist in contemporary organizations. The

paper will also report that when they “do gender” participants also produce and reproduce a gendered

notion of a professional project that influences their subsequent professional practice as well as how

they position themselves as knowledgeable and competent.



– The perspective of “doing gender” contributes an alternative understanding of

graduate employment and the encounter with working life. It especially enables us to capture gender

as an important influence on individual action in the organizational context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald , 2010. Vol. 15, no 4, 324-337 p.
Keyword [en]
Graduates, Employment, Gender, Careers, Sweden
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-59874DOI: 10.1108/13620431011066222OAI: diva2:353854
Available from: 2010-09-29 Created: 2010-09-29 Last updated: 2010-10-25

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Studies in Adult, Popular and Higher EducationFaculty of Educational Sciences

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