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Gender (in)equality within the Swedish Armed Forces: Resistance and Functional Disinclination
Avdelningen för Riskhantering och Samhällssäkerhet, Lunds universitet, (SWE).ORCID-id: 0000-0001-5464-5259
2023 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
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

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Lund: Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University , 2023.
Nyckelord [en]
gender equality, military, Swedish Armed Forces, resistance, military profession
Nationell ämneskategori
Genusstudier Arbetslivsstudier
Forskningsämne
Ledarskap och ledning
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11851ISBN: 978-91-8039-793-3 (tryckt)ISBN: 978-91-8039-794-0 (digital)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-11851DiVA, id: diva2:1803288
Disputation
2023-10-13, Lecture Hall V:A, building V, John Ericssons väg 1, Faculty of Engineering LTH, Lund, 09:00
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2023-10-09 Skapad: 2023-10-09 Senast uppdaterad: 2023-10-11Bibliografiskt granskad
Delarbeten
1. Collective agreement as investment in women in the Swedish Armed Forces: A critical discourse analysis
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Collective agreement as investment in women in the Swedish Armed Forces: A critical discourse analysis
2022 (Engelska)Ingår i: Journal of Gender Studies, ISSN 0958-9236, E-ISSN 1465-3869, Vol. 31, nr 3, s. 364-376Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

How organizations engage with gender equality is crucial to them being perceived as fair and attractive employers. As recruitment and training of personnel is a core function of the military organization, it is relevant to investigate this from a gender critical perspective. The aim was to critically examine how a military organization operates in respect of equality of pay between women and men by means of a collective agreement, as an example of how the organization tries to address gender inequality. A qualitative analysis using Bacchi's 'What is the problem represented to be' (2009) analysis of policy documents was conducted. The analysis focuses on how the actual issue is problematized and what is left unproblematised, and the key findings are that efforts to achieve gender equality within the Swedish Armed Forces are counterproductive and result in perpetuating deficiencies in the organization's work with wider gender-equality issues. Despite external pressures, there is a structural reluctance and inability within the Swedish Armed Forces to seriously engage with addressing the organization's gender-equality issues. As resistance to gender-equality work is usually implicit, this study's strongest contribution to the field is that such resistance can be identified as being explicit and therefore more easily challenged.

Nyckelord
gender equality, equal pay, WPR, military
Nationell ämneskategori
Tvärvetenskapliga studier inom samhällsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
Ledarskap och ledning
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-10745 (URN)10.1080/09589236.2022.2035213 (DOI)000752993800001 ()
Tillgänglig från: 2022-02-21 Skapad: 2022-02-21 Senast uppdaterad: 2023-10-09Bibliografiskt granskad
2. To stand in line and fit in—About military men's (un)reflected navigation in the armed forces
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>To stand in line and fit in—About military men's (un)reflected navigation in the armed forces
2023 (Engelska)Ingår i: Sociology Compass, E-ISSN 1751-9020, Vol. 17, nr 3Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the study is to investigate how the everyday experience of being a man in a male-dominated organization and what navigating the organization is like. The study builds on 15 interviews with men of various ages and ranks in the Swedish Armed Forces. The findings revealed three major themes that illustrate how men, and their actions, contribute to producing and re-producing gendered norms. First, the ideal military person is seen to have characteristics that are predominantly male and even though respondents only identify with these characteristics to some extent, the typical male ideal is still prevalent within the Armed Forces. Second, this image is reproduced by an uncritical stance towards the internal workings of the organization, relating to career paths and their reliance of traditional gendered roles. Third, the Armed Forces encounter resistance to gender equality work from within the military organization, in both action and inactions. We suggest this is due to a resistance to change and that work with gender equality is minimized to a shadow task that lacks committed men. We conclude that men's reality seems both obvious and unreflected, and these structures are upheld within the Armed Forces.

Nationell ämneskategori
Sociologi (exklusive socialt arbete, socialpsykologi och socialantropologi)
Forskningsämne
Ledarskap och ledning
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11318 (URN)10.1111/soc4.13056 (DOI)
Tillgänglig från: 2023-01-12 Skapad: 2023-01-12 Senast uppdaterad: 2023-10-27Bibliografiskt granskad
3. Conforming One’s Conduct to Unwritten Rules: Experiences of Female Military Personnel in a Male-Dominated Organization
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Conforming One’s Conduct to Unwritten Rules: Experiences of Female Military Personnel in a Male-Dominated Organization
2018 (Engelska)Ingår i: Res Militaris, E-ISSN 2265-6294, Vol. 8, nr 1, s. 1-25Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) 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.

Nyckelord
Swedish Armed Forces, gender relations, servicewomen's experiences, male domination, career paths, leadership, meanings, identities, strategies, double binds
Nationell ämneskategori
Sociologi (exklusive socialt arbete, socialpsykologi och socialantropologi)
Forskningsämne
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8198 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2018-10-21 Skapad: 2018-10-21 Senast uppdaterad: 2023-10-09Bibliografiskt granskad

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