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Conforming One’s Conduct to Unwritten Rules: Experiences of Female Military Personnel in a Male-Dominated Organization
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5464-5259
2018 (English)In: Res Militaris, E-ISSN 2265-6294, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 1-25Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Swedish Armed Forces have traditionally been exclusively male, and service in the cause of defending the country has until recently been the privilege of men. While the very first women entered the military 37 years ago, the military has so far failed to fully integrate women into the organization and promote gender equality. The object of this study is to probe servicewomen's meanings, identities, strategies and experiences in a male-dominated institution. For that purpose, a qualitative approach was chosen, and nine female members of the Swedish Armed Forces, from private to general, were interviewed. The rich empirical data on what it means and feels like today to serve as a female minority as part of unique culture emphasizing corporateness - on their attitudes, options, dilemmas, contradictions as well as the double binds imposed on them by the prevailing male orthodoxy - are analyzed and discussed in light of Pierre Bourdieu's theoretical concepts : cultural capital, habitus, masculine domination and symbolic violence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 8, no 1, p. 1-25
Keywords [en]
Swedish Armed Forces, gender relations, servicewomen's experiences, male domination, career paths, leadership, meanings, identities, strategies, double binds
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8198OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-8198DiVA, id: diva2:1257441
Available from: 2018-10-21 Created: 2018-10-21 Last updated: 2023-10-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Gender (in)equality within the Swedish Armed Forces: Resistance and Functional Disinclination
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender (in)equality within the Swedish Armed Forces: Resistance and Functional Disinclination
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Historically and traditionally, military work has been closely associated with men. However, the post-Cold War normalization process has brought about a transformation in both the Swedish Armed Forces themselves and the perception of the organization. Normative concerns, including gender equality, have gained significant prominence, compelling the armed forces to embark onvarious initiatives aimed at achieving a more gender-balanced structure. Despite the extensive profiling and efforts made by the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) over the past decades, women currently make up only 11.9% of the military personnel.

This dissertation examines how (in)equality manifests itself in the military profession today, in view of the substantial changes that have occurred. The dissertation encompasses both the experiences of personnel and the actions of the organisation. By doing so, it sheds light on the gradual advancement of gender equality within the SAF, attributing this delay to resistance against change that becomes evident at the structural, organizational, and professional levels. This resistance is further explained through the concept of "functional disinclination," which emerges from the empirical studies presented in this dissertation.

Utilizing a range of data and methodologies, the dissertation collectively highlights an organizational incapacity to align with the normative demands set forth. The barriers to achieving gender equality are not merely reflective of resistance; they also form a recurring pattern that impedes the implementation of normative changes

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, 2023
Keywords
gender equality, military, Swedish Armed Forces, resistance, military profession
National Category
Gender Studies Work Sciences
Research subject
Leadership and Command & Control
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11851 (URN)978-91-8039-793-3 (ISBN)978-91-8039-794-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-10-13, Lecture Hall V:A, building V, John Ericssons väg 1, Faculty of Engineering LTH, Lund, 09:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2023-10-09 Created: 2023-10-09 Last updated: 2023-10-11Bibliographically approved

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Linehagen, Frida

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