The Journal of Gender Research: Open issue

Forside hel Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning 3-4-22

The last issue in 2022 is an open double issue. Read new research on the lack of the gender dimension in regional politics and in internationalization in academia, how assumptions about gender influence attitudes and structures in the police service, the classroom, and students of theology. You can also read about alcohol management among young women and men of cross-cultural upbringing, and the constructions of gender and masculinities among Norwegian men in involuntary celibacy. 

DOI: 10.18261/issn.1891-1781

When Gender «Disappears» in Regional Development Programs

By Halldis Valstrand

This article presents and discusses a lack of gender perspectives in a particular Norwegian support scheme called «regional restructuring», which is a program that local communities can apply for and instigate. Through a specific case study in a participating municipality, I focus on how the scheme’s rigid requirements for obtaining financial support, project organization and the involvement of external institutions seem to hinder gender perspectives and equality. This is in sharp relief to ideals about balanced development, and my aim for the article is to investigate where gender disappears.

Keywords: Norway’s regional restructuration scheme, gender perspectives, project organisation, institutional actors, 
inter-disciplinary gender research

Internationalization of Norwegian Academia: Gender Equality as a Blind-Spot

By Julie Katrine Flikke

Norwegian academia is often described as increasingly more internationally oriented, but it is not always clear what the much-used phrase «internationalization» really entails. This article explores the relationship between internationalization, research excellence and gender-balance in academia by conducting a critical discourse analysis of NTNU’s internationalization policy from 2006 to 2018. The analysis shows a missing link between internationalization policy, gender balance and international diversity that demonstrates an awareness of how these themes are intertwined in today’s academia. For NTNU, internationalization, to a large degree, means international mobility for students and researchers, international recruitment, research-cooperation, and connection to the European knowledge market. NTNU has a big focus on research excellence and a goal of becoming «internationally excellent». Internationalization is strategically operationalized to entail recruitment of excellent international researchers, a prioritizing of resources towards «the best», «top research» and cooperation with excellent international institutions. This discourse shapes an ideal researcher with international experience and network who does «top research», and in the policy documents, this discourse is presented as merit-based and gender-neutral. However, this article shows how a gender-neutral internationalization discourse potentially has strong gendered implications and consequences.

Keywords: Internationalization, academia, discourse analysis, document-analysis, politics, gender equality, gender balance, researcher-ideals

Real Police Work? The Development and Testing of Prestige Hierarchy for Police Work

By Brita Bjørkelo, Tatanya Ducran Valland, Tanja Nordberg og Marie-Louise Damen 

Even though the traditionally male-dominated Norwegian Police Service now has fewer men than women admitted to bachelor education, men dominate in senior police positions, and some police specializations are gendered. Furthermore, some forms of police work, for example, problem-oriented policing, are described as working «inside» and as office-related work. This type of work is also described as «teddy bear» or «waffle» police as opposed to patrolling being a hegemonic job description and the norm of «real police work». Drawing on frameworks from medicine and disease hierarchies, as well as previous police research, we develop and pilot a prestige hierarchy for police work. Based on an investigation of 101 police employees in a postgraduate education program, we find that men and women share assumptions of which types of police work are associated with high and low prestige in the police organisation, and that this classification is, to a certain degree, related to gender. The study contributes with unique knowledge of how common ways of understanding prestige hierarchies in police work tasks may be intertwined with gender.

Keywords: Working life, prestige hierarchy, police, gender, segregation

Digital Reading as a Gendered Skill: On the Meaning of Gender and Social Class in the Short Reports about PISA 2009 and ePIRLS 2016

By Mette Maria Rønsen Gjerskaug

In this article, I examine how Norwegian students’ digital reading skills are constructed with regards to gender and social class in the short reports about PISA 2009 and ePIRLS 2016. The theoretical framework is poststructuralist feminist theory. The analysis indicates that gender is given much significance in relation to student performance, while social class is given less attention. These findings are discussed in relation to the terms discursive formation and subjectivation. I argue that the gendered subject positions established in the short reports, where the boys are constructed as poor readers and the girls as competent readers, must be understood in the context of neoliberalist educational policy in which comparison and competition are central elements. The short reports thus contribute in creating gendered and subjectivating perceptions about reading, and they can be said to have regulating effects for the field they set out to describe. When social class is given less attention, questions related to lack of resources can disappear from political discussions about differences in school performances, while focus is directed towards equalizing distance and differences between boys and girls.

Keywords: Poststructuralist feminist theory, discourse analysis, gender, social class, digital reading

Becoming a Pastor: A Psychosocial Approach to Professional Identity, Subjectivity, and Gender

By Sissel Merete Finholt-Pedersen

In this article, I illustrate how a psychosocial approach (Salling Olesen 2020) as both theory and method offers insights into how two students of theology and their choice of education as pastors are embedded in their life histories. Investigating the life histories of students of theology opens for interpretations of how their entry into pastorhood is interrelated with broader societal processes, such as the modernization of Norwegian society and the development of gender equality. I will show how gendered, socialized subjectivity might be understood as formative for how the two students of theology develop their professional identity as pastors.

Keywords: Psychosocial approach, the unconscious, professional identity development, students of theology, subjectivity, socialization, gender, gender equality

«Oh, you don’t drink? I thought you were more Norwegian»

The Importance of Alcohol for the Experience of Belonging Among Young Adults with Cross-Cultural Upbringing in Norway

By Tina Bojovic, Ingunn Studsrød og Elisabeth Enoksen

This article examines the importance of alcohol and alcohol management among young women and men of cross-cultural upbringing. We apply intersectionality as a perspective to examine how different social categories can affect young people’s living conditions and experiences of belonging. The article builds on qualitative interviews where 13 young adults express their experiences with cross-cultural upbringing. Our analyses show that alcohol and alcohol management are important for their experiences and navigation of belonging to majority youth- and minority environments. As young, religious women and men, they experience that alcohol consumption and partying function as markers for being young and Norwegian and that alcohol use is a condition for becoming part of the Norwegian majority community. However, among their families and minority communities, they are met with expectations of abstinence and that they should refrain from socialising where alcohol is consumed. The conflicting expectations associated with alcohol consumption and abstinence complicate the navigation of belonging to both majority and minority communities. The article seeks to nuance understandings of how alcohol use is connected to hierarchising constructions of Norwegianness and foreignness and divisions of «us» and «them».

Keywords: Cross-culture, alcohol, intersectionality, belonging, young adults, minority, majority

On the Social Fringes: Constructions of Gender and Masculinities Among Norwegian Men in Involuntary Celibacy

By Fredrik Langeland, Lin Prøitz, Professor, Kamilla Knutsen Steinnes og Henry Mainsah

This article looks at Norwegian men who identify with living in involuntary celibacy. It is a qualitative study based on interviews with seven Norwegian men and provides new knowledge about a phenomenon that has been scarcely researched in Norway. Overall, the article examines connections between the participants’ negotiations about gender and masculinity, and their relationships to online anti-feminist forums. The analysis draws on masculinity theory and the concept of hybrid masculinity to examine the distancing from and negotiation with different masculinities. The article argues that online anti-feminist forums are of little interest or relevance to the participants.

Keywords: Involuntary celibate, incels, gender, hybrid masculinity, manosphere, caring masculinity

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