TROUBLING GENDER EQUALITY: REVISITING GENDER EQUALITY WORK IN THE FAMOUS NORDIC MODEL COUNTRIES

  • Charlotta Edström UmeÃ¥ University, Sweden
  • Kristiina Brunila University of Helsinki
Keywords: gender equality work, labour market interest, marketisation, projectisation, heteronormativity, subjectification

Abstract

This article concerns gender equality work, that is, those educational and workplace activities that involve the promotion of gender equality. It is based on research conducted in Sweden and Finland, and focuses on the period during which the public sector has become more market-oriented and project-based all over the Nordic countries. The consequences of this development on gender equality work have not yet been thoroughly analysed. Our joint empirical analysis is based on discourse-analytic methodology and two previous empirical studies. By analysing interviews conducted with people involved in gender equality work, this article emphasises the effects of market-oriented and project-based gender equality work in education and working life in Sweden and in Finland. The findings highlight an alliance between projectisation and heteronormativity that acts to regulate how gender equality ought to be talked about in order for its issues to be heard. A persistently constructed ‘remedy’ to ‘the gender equality problem’ is that girls and women are positioned as ‘needing’ to change more than boys and men, by adopting more traditionally ‘masculine manners’ and choosing to work in more ‘masculine sectors’. The findings also show that the constitutive forces of these discourses provide little leeway for critical perspectives.
Published
2016-06-06
Section
Articles