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Caring and daring discourses at work: doing gender through occupational choices in elderly care and police work
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences. (Vuxenpedagogik och Folkbildning)
Pedagogiska institutionen, Umeå universitet.
2013 (English)In: Vocations and Learning, ISSN 1874-785X, Vol. 6, no 2, 281-295 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper aims to problematise how gender is being done—1. through occupational choices in two occupations that are traditionally gender divided, elderly care and police work, and 2. through the division of work assignments in police work. Interviews with care workers and police officers are analysed using a “doing gender” perspective, a post-structural notion of subjectivity inspired by Michel Foucault and positioning theory. We argue that a caring discourse operates in elderly care workers’ and police officers’ statements concerning occupational choices, while a daring discourse operates in statements concerning occupational choices within police work. Through these discourses, gender is being done in different ways; caring dispositions are constructed as totally female within the context of elderly care but as more gender-neutral in police work. At the same time, a macho or daring attitude is constructed as a male attribute in police work. Such constructions may have social consequences in terms of dividing work tasks for police, where male officers work in more prestigious and “dangerous” areas, while female officers are left with less prestigious, more caring-associated working areas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands, 2013. Vol. 6, no 2, 281-295 p.
Keyword [en]
Doing gender, Occupational choice, Foucault, post-structural theory, Elderly Care, Police work
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-87121DOI: 10.1007/s12186-013-9097-1ISI: 000320336800007OAI: diva2:585440
Available from: 2013-01-10 Created: 2013-01-10 Last updated: 2013-08-23Bibliographically approved

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Fejes, Andreas
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Education and Adult LearningFaculty of Educational Sciences
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