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  • 1.
    Axelsson, Tobias
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    När män möts som pappor: Fadrandets politik och praktik i det jämställda och pappavänliga Sverige2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis analyses how fathering is done and how fathers are constructed through the separate organising of men as fathers in meeting places for fathers on parental leave in Sweden. The study is located within the Swedish gender regime, characterised by its dual-earner/dual-carer model, progressive parenthood and daddy politics, and universally-oriented parenting support, making it a relatively gender-equal and father-friendly society.

    Theoretically and methodologically, the thesis draws on a feminist perspective. It uses ‘doing gender’ theory, and is informed by critical realism. The material is based on 25 observations at two fathering spaces, seven semi-structured interviews with fathers, and six policy documents on parenting support. Qualitative content analysis is used to analyse the material.

    The findings show: first, meeting places for fathers on parental leave can be understood as fathering spaces. Second, these fathering spaces are child-oriented settings and constitute somewhat of an exception within gender-neutral gender regimes. Third, fathering spaces function as transitional sites in which fathers manage different aspects of responsibility and relations to their own selves, to children, to mothers, and to other fathers. Fourth, three approaches to separate organising of men as fathers are identified: a) anti-separate; b) pro-separate; and c) gender paradoxical. The identified arguments for separate organising can be located along two parallel continua: one that stretches from individual to collective argumentation, and another that stretches from general to gender-specific argumentation.

    The thesis contributes to research on childcare and masculinities, and fathers’ experiences of parental leave, and to knowledge about separate organising of men as fathers. It also contributes to research and policy debates on daddy politics and parenting support by critically discussing fathering in terms of autonomy, dependence, and masculinity politics.

  • 2.
    Bjørnholt, Margunn
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Modern men: A Norwegian 30-year longitudinal study of intergenerational transmission and social change2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The dissertation addresses men and change, intergenerational transmission, historical change and agency, employing as a case a longitudinal follow-up study over two generations of men, where the fathers participated in an experimental research project, the Work-Sharing Couples Project, which aimed to promote egalitarian work–family adaptations in Norway in the early 1970s. The original project was based on both spouses working part-time and shift parenting. The summary presents a multidimensional analysis of the work–family adaptations of the two generations of men: the untraditional adaptation of fathers in the 1970s; and the neo-traditional adaptations of sons in the 2000s. Their different work–family adaptations are discussed as situated agency, taking into account different aspects of time and space, personal biography, discursive and material structures of opportunity, and intergenerational dynamics at the family level as well as at social level.

    The five articles present the empirical material: Bjørnholt (2009a) presents the impact on the couple relation and the family of the the parents’ work–sharing arrangement, concluding that the work-sharing arrangement was perceived by the participants to have been beneficial for their couple relationship as well as for the family as a whole. Bjørnholt (2011) explores the motivations of the work-sharing men to act as agents of change towards gender equality, concluding that personal biography, an authoritative way of being and new masculinity ideals, notably a partner- oriented masculinity, were important. Bjørnholt (2010b) analyses the consequences of the work-sharing arrangement on the work-sharing men’s careers, concluding that there were few negative career effects. They were rather successful, and their house-father experiences tended to be valued by employers as management skills. Bjørnholt (2009b) concludes that a father–son design is insufficient in explaining intergenerational transmission and Bjørnholt (2010c) finds that the untraditional work–family arrangement had not been passed on to sons.

    List of papers
    1. Norwegian work-sharing couples project 30 years later: revisiting an experimental research project forgender equality in the family
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Norwegian work-sharing couples project 30 years later: revisiting an experimental research project forgender equality in the family
    2009 (English)In: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, ISSN 2040-7149, E-ISSN 2040-7157, Vol. 28, no 4, p. 304-323Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to outline the background as well as methodological and epistemological aspects to, and the effects of, a follow-up study 30 years later of the work-sharing couples project, which is a Norwegian, experimental research project in the early 1970s. The aim of the project is to promote gender equality and a better work/life balance in families. In this paper the variation in work-sharing and post work-sharing trajectories over the life-course is explored, mainly focusing on the impact of the work-sharing arrangement on the couples’ relations, their work/life balance and the well-being of participants, the core objectives of the original project.

    Design/methodology/approach – The original project has a small scale, interventionist design based on couples working part-time and sharing childcare and housework; effects on family life and gender equality are documented by questionnaires and time diaries. In the follow-up study, retrospective life-course couple interviews with the original participants are used.

    Findings – Revisiting the original project produced new insights into, the subversive and radical use of sex-role theory in early Norwegian family sociology as an instrument of changing gender relations. In the follow-up study, the high level of participation and the long duration of the arrangement would seem to qualify for a heightened level of expectation as to the effects of the experiment on the participants’ lives. A high proportion of the couples are still married, and the work-sharing arrangement has been regarded by the majority of participants to have had a positive impact on their marital relation, work/life balance and well-being.

    Practical implications – Insights gained from revisiting this project may prove fruitful when confronting contemporary dilemmas of work/life balance, as well as demographic and environmental challenges. Originality/value – The original project is unique internationally owing to its theoretically subversive, interventionist design and reformatory ambition. The longitudinal follow-up of the experiment is also unique in family research, and of great value for researchers into gender equality and the family.

    Keywords
    Norway, Gender, Family roles, Equal opportunities, Dual-career couples
    National Category
    Gender Studies
    Research subject
    Gender Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-37923 (URN)10.1108/02610150910954773 (DOI)
    Note

    Equal Opportunities International ended 2009

    Now published as "Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal"

    Available from: 2014-10-23 Created: 2014-10-23 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
    2. How men became the local agentsof change towards gender equality
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>How men became the local agentsof change towards gender equality
    2008 (English)In: Journal of Gender Studies, ISSN 0958-9236, E-ISSN 1465-3869, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 1-18Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    The Work-Sharing Couples Study was an action research project conducted in the early 1970s to reconcile work, family and gender equality in families. Its design involved both spouses working part-time and sharing childcare and housework. This article is based on a follow-up study of the original couples 30 years later. The men played a key role in initiating work-sharing in their families and how the men becameagents of change is the topic of the article. Biographical influences from their families of origin and domestic skills, facilitated by the contemporary concept of a modern, profeminist masculinity, were important background factors, and promoting the careers of wives emerged as an important motivational factor. Their authoritative agency in promoting more egalitarian patterns of work and care in their own families also invokes the question of a constructive use of male power. This could give rise to a further discussion of power and masculinity and men as agents of change towards gender equality.

    Keywords
    men, part-time, masculinity, power, work/family reconciliation, gender equality
    National Category
    Gender Studies
    Research subject
    Gender Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-37925 (URN)10.1080/09589236.2010.514210 (DOI)000288953400002 ()2-s2.0-79953287709 (Scopus ID)
    Available from: 2014-10-23 Created: 2014-10-23 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
    3. Part-time work and the career and life choices of the men from the work-sharing couples study
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Part-time work and the career and life choices of the men from the work-sharing couples study
    2010 (English)In: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, ISSN 2040-7149, E-ISSN 2040-7157, Vol. 29, no 6, p. 573-582Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose– This article outlines the longitudinal consequences for men who participated in the work‐sharing couples study which was a Norwegian, experimental research project in the early 1970s. The aim of the original project was to promote gender equality and a better work/life balance in families; the design involved both spouses working part‐time and sharing childcare and housework. This paper aims to present the results of a longitudinal follow‐up study of the participants in the work‐sharing couples study. In this paper the work‐sharing men's part‐time adaptations and the impact of the work‐sharing arrangement on their careers is the main focus.

    Design/methodology/approach– The original project had a small scale, interventionist design based on couples working part‐time and sharing childcare and housework; effects were documented by questionnaires and time diaries. In the follow‐up study 30 years later, retrospective life‐course couple interviews with the original participants were used. The current paper is based on an analysis of the couple interviews with a particular focus on the men's careers.

    Findings– Obtaining part‐time work was not difficult, and working part‐time was mostly uncomplicated for the men. Neither did their working part time for a substantial amount of time have negative career effects, and they were rather successful professionally. Their experiences as work sharers were mainly positively valued at their workplaces as adding to managerial skills. For those who did not have a managerial career, this was due to personal choice rather than any negative effect of working part‐time.

    Practical implications– Changing men's adaptations to work and care is high on the agenda in family research as well as in policy making and the findings from this study contributes to new knowledge which is of interest in research as well as policy making.Originality/value– The original project was unique internationally, and so is the longitudinal follow‐up of this experiment. The work‐sharing men's part‐time adaptations and the longitudinal impact on their careers provide new and contra‐intuitive insights into the question of men, work and family.

    Keywords
    Gender, Part time workers, Norway, Quality of life, Equal opportunities, Family life
    National Category
    Gender Studies
    Research subject
    Gender Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-37927 (URN)10.1108/02610151011067513 (DOI)
    Available from: 2014-10-23 Created: 2014-10-23 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
    4. Fathers and sons: gender socialization and intergenerational transmission revisited
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fathers and sons: gender socialization and intergenerational transmission revisited
    2009 (English)In: Nordic Journal for Masculinity Studies (NORMA), ISSN 1890-2138, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 83-102Article in journal (Other academic) Published
    Abstract [en]

    This article, which employs a dyadic father-son approach, addresses the methodological and theoretical challenges involved in studying gender socialization and intergenerational transmission. The article is part of a longitudinal follow-up study of the Work-Sharing Couples Project, a small, experimental action research project for gender equality in the family in Norway during the first part of the 1970s; the project was designed to promote gender equality and a better work/life balance in families and was based on both spouses working part-time and sharing breadwinning, childcare and housework. The follow-up study was conducted by interviewing the original couples in 2005–2006. A sample of the sons of the work- sharing couples has also been interviewed as part of an ongoing follow-up study of intergenerational transmission. The background of the article consists of the findings so far relating to the fathers in the study: these findings provide little or no support for a model of father/son transmission; the work-sharing men did not refer to their own fathers as “role models”. Further, the father-son research design poses certain methodological, theoretical and ethical challenges which should be considered and weighed up against the possible analytical gains of this approach. Against the background of these concerns, a single father-son case is explored based on a couple interview with the parents and individual interviews with both the parents and the son. Based on analyzing this case, methodological and theoretical implications for the study of intergenerational transmission, boys’ socialization and the origin of masculinity/(ies) are discussed.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Taylor & Francis Group, 2009
    Keywords
    gender socialization, intergenerational transmission, father-son, masculinity, gender equality
    National Category
    Gender Studies
    Research subject
    Gender Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-37926 (URN)
    Available from: 2014-10-23 Created: 2014-10-23 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved
    5. Like father, like sons?: the transmission of values, family practices and work-family adaptations to sons of work-sharing men
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Like father, like sons?: the transmission of values, family practices and work-family adaptations to sons of work-sharing men
    2010 (English)In: Fathering: A Journal of Theory, Research, and Practice about Men as Fathers, ISSN 1537-6680, E-ISSN 1933-026X, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 276-299Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    National Category
    Gender Studies
    Research subject
    Gender Studies
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-37928 (URN)10.3149/fth.0803.276 (DOI)
    Available from: 2014-10-23 Created: 2014-10-23 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
  • 3.
    Gunnarsson, Lena
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    On the Ontology of Love, Sexuality and Power: Towards a Feminist-Realist Depth Approach2013Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The thesis offers a theoretical account of how and why, in contemporary western societies characterized by formal-legal equality and women’s relative economic independence, women continue to be subordinated to men through sexuality and love. By means of an innovative application of Roy Bhaskar’s critical realism, dialectical critical realism and philosophy of metaReality, it investigates and elaborates Anna G. Jónasdóttir’s claim that men tend to exploit women of their ‘love power’. Also, the thesis advances a critique of the state of affairs of contemporary feminist theory, demonstrating that the meta-theoretical framework of critical realism offers tools that can counter the poststructuralist hegemony in feminist theory.

    Part I engages in a comprehensive evaluation of Catharine MacKinnon’s, Judith Butler’s and Jónasdóttir’s theorizations of sexuality and gendered power. Insofar as the works of these theorists represent different philosophical paradigms, this critique opens up a discussion of more general meta-theoretical issues, which are elaborated in Part II, where poststructuralist feminist positions are challenged. Following Jónasdóttir’s broadening of the concept of sexuality so as to essentially include practices of love, in Part III the focus of the thesis is shifted from sexuality to love. Here a dialectical deepening and partial recasting of Jónasdóttir’s work is offered, by means of an application of dialectical critical realism and the philosophy of metaReality.

    The thesis outlines a feminist dialectical-realist depth ontology of love, sexuality and power, which constitutes an alternative to dominant discursive approaches to sexuality and attributes to love its proper place in our existence as sexual human creatures. Although the thesis makes a case for the tenacity of female subordination in and through sexuality and love, it ends on a more optimistic note, by offering a model of how women can break the shackles of love.

  • 4.
    Strid, Sofia
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Gendered interests in the European union: the European women's lobby and the organisation and representation of women's interests2009Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Gendered Interests and the European Union. The European Women’s Lobby and the Organisation and Representation of Women's Interests. On a general level this thesis concerns the changed and changing institutional conditions for gender equality in Europe and the organisation and institutionalisation of women’s social and political interests at the EU level. I ask in what ways political structures and authorities enable and/or obstruct women to generate, sustain and control their presence in politics as women. I explore how the EU institutions structure and provide opportunities and constraints for women to mobilise and organise to act as an authorised party vis-a-vis and within the EU political system. How does it come that women, as a collective, are not only recognised as a politically relevant group but also legitimised to act and be present as women in an organised relationship with the EU system’s main authorities? The presence comes in the form of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), an EU level and EU wide non-governmental umbrella organisation which represents some 4000 women’s organisations on multiple levels of the EU. The EWL is not the first example of women organising on the EU level, but it is the first of its kind. The EWL was initiated by women from within the European Commission and is funded mainly via a grant from the Commission. The EWL’s objectives include the endorsement of equality between women and men and to ensure that measures to promote gender equality and women’s rights are taken into account and mainstreamed in all EU policy. Using material gathered through interviews, observations and official documentation I study the structure of the European Women’s Lobby; the participation of the EWL in EU politics; the relation between the EWL and the EU institutions; the relation between the EWL’s member organisations; and the forms the representation of women’s organised social and political interests at EU level can take. I argue that in the specific political system of the EU, organised interests in civil society and the EWL perform the functions of input, and participate in output and feedback. Organised interests function as intermediaries between the national and European levels. Organised interests strive to gain influence; the Commission, as a political authority, strives to gain legitimacy of its policy-making through the input and output of representative organised interests. As a consequence of what I argue is a corporatist policymaking style of the Commission the EWL has become increasingly institutionalised. The trade off is that while the EWL has enjoyed the Commission’s support and funding to constitute an established EU level platform from which women can formulate, mobilise and pursue their interests, the EWL has must organise and take control over the interests aggregated from its member organisations and over the form of the member organisations. The very structure of the EWL can be seen as part of the price the EWL has to pay to be granted somewhat of a representative monopoly in terms of opportunities to influence EU policy-making through the various channels of consultation. In this context, I argue that the representativeness of organised interests is key. There is no electoral basis legitimising the policy-making of the Commission, instead, this basis is constituted by organised interests. Paradoxically, this holds the potential for increasing the legitimacy of the Commission, something which increasing transparency has failed to do. It is no exaggeration to claim that the EWL offers a remarkable EU level platform for women to act and pursue their interests as women. By studying the actual impact of EU level policy-making and politics on various ways, this thesis argues that the very existence of the EWL can be understood as being in the interest of women.

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