Open issue

Open issue


Maja Mons Bissenbakker Fredriksen and Lene Myong:

Love Will Keep Us Together: Love and White Transraciality in Danish Protests against Family Reunification Laws

Denmark has imposed some of the strictest immigration laws in Europe since 2000. Consequently, family reunification in the country has become increasingly difficult for both immigrants and Danish nationals. This article looks at a political initiative called “Love without Borders” (LwB) and its attempt to mobilize the Danish public in a push to overturn the laws. LwB has generated momentum around the ideal of transraciality (straight, white subjects oriented towards reproduction and romantic love). At the same time, queer activists have offered a political rebuke by pointing out how the laws (and in turn LwB’s critique) are built on heteronormative assumptions that ignore homosexuality. In both cases, however, love seems to promise affective ties to the nation, to the future, and to the political system in ways that sustain white hegemony. Building on Sara Ahmed’s reflections on love as cultural politics and Jasbir Puar’s notion of homonationalism, the article analyzes posters, viral videos and newspaper debates in its discussion of the promises and pitfalls of love as an affective political tool.

Keywords: Love, affect, immigration laws, activism, whiteness, sexuality, homonationalism, Sara Ahmed, Jasbir Puar


May-Linda Magnussen, Pål Repstad and Sivert Urstad:

Scepticism towards Gender Equality in Norway’s Sørlandet – the Result of Religion?

Sørlandet, Norway’s southernmost region, is known as a stronghold of strict Christianity, and also scores poorly on several indicators of gender equality. The possible link between the two is frequently discussed in the regional media. This article is based on surveys from 1998 and 2008, both of which confirm that religiously active people living in Sørlandet are more sceptical towards gender equality than Norwegians in general, and are also more sceptical than religiously active people elsewhere in Norway. An analysis of changes during this period shows some paradoxical trends. Scepticism towards gender equality among active Christians in the region has decreased markedly. Furthermore, it seems that religiously active Christians in Sørlandet – as well as elsewhere in Norway – are to a certain extent catching up with Norwegians in general on this matter. In this sense, the results seem to support a general sociological theory of modernisation and standardisation. However, the analysis also shows that religion has increased its explanatory power on scepticism towards gender equality in Sørlandet during this period, while variables such as age, gender and education explain less. Secularisation may leave those who are still religiously active more conservative in both religious and gender-related matters. These attitudes may also increasingly be self-chosen and decreasingly a result of an “automatic” transfer of values.


Helle Ingeborg Mellingen:

Coming Out in the Language of Canaan

In the book Betre død enn homofil? (Rather dead than homosexual?), Arnfinn Nordbø tells his story of coming out as gay in a conservative Christian community (2009). This article is a textual analysis focusing on the subcultural languages presented in the book: the Christian conservative fundamentalist and homophobic language the author is brought up in and a counter language built on the assumption that gays and lesbians are “created that way”. My interpretation, which shows how variants of cultural constructivism and essentialism are formulated to defend either view, uses performativity theory and deconstruction to explain how these apparently antithetic languages are in many ways dependent on one another and share grammatical structures and underlying assumptions.

Keywords: Performativity, deconstruction, gender and sexuality, homosexuality, religious conservatism


Cecilie Basberg Neumann, Mari Rysst and Mari Bjerck:

One of the Guys: Women and Clothes in Male-Dominated Professions

What do sex and clothes mean for women working in male-dominated professions? The authors of this article argue that women must downplay their gender and their sexuality by covering their bodies in men’s clothes to signal that they are at work to do their job. How do these women negotiate their femininity? What notions of gender neutrality – and gender differences and similarities – must they relate to?

This article is about women who have chosen to work in male-dominated professions (most of them in so-called blue-collar occupations) and their male colleagues, focusing on how gender is highlighted and communicated by women in what have traditionally been working-class male jobs. We have looked in particular at the ideas associated with clothing and appearance, and the practices that highlight how women both mask and mark themselves as women. We see these practices as acts negotiated to confront the questions of how, and in what ways, women can be “one of the guys”. This is important because the women’s work situations are largely centered around the notions of men as “real men” in traditional working-class occupations.

Keywords: Gender negotiations, Blue-collar work, heteronormativity, acknowledgement, desire, male hierarchies


Lisbeth Morlandstø:

The Ambiguous Difference. The Impact of Gender in Scandinavian Journalism Research

Over the last decade or so, we have witnessed a significant growth in Scandinavian journalism research, a field that has been, and still is, dominated by men. In the same period, however, the relative proportion of publications on journalism written by female researchers has increased. Based on a quantitative content analysis of journalism research in the three Scandinavian countries from 1995 to 2009, the paper asks whether this increase has affected the gendered patterns of journalism research.

Although the main trends of this research are largely unchanged, the study reveals certain noticeable changes over time, some of which can be linked to the increase in research by women. Female researchers are generally more empirical, that they look more closely at practices, more qualitative and broader in their thematic orientation than men, which clearly affects the research. But this does not seem to have any marked impact on the research orientation among male researchers or on the dominant position of men in the field. The changes revealed by the study with respect to male research can best be seen as an extension of a traditional male orientation, which also seems to maintain its status quo.

Keywords: Journalism research, gender, content analysis, doxa, Scandinavia, comparison