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Från kampanj till givakt: En intervjustudie om kommunikationens roll för en jämställd försvarsmakt
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013).
2019 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In 2017 the Swedish government decided that the defense should be based on both volunteerism and duty. The military service had then been dormant since 2010 and built entirely on volunteerism. From this political decision, the duty is now gender neutral, which means that the same opportunities and obligations apply to both men and women. The Swedish Armed Forces have an active desire for more women to carry out the military service - an organisation that historically has been strongly associated with masculine norms. 

From campaign to attention” is a qualitative interview study on the military conscripts’ experience of government communication, which aims to contribute to increased gender equality in the defense. The study aims to illustrate how communication that challenges stereotypes to change norms is received by men and women who carry out their basic education in the Armed Forces. 

In order to find out the military conscripts’ view of the chosen authorities’ communication, we conducted ten qualitative interviews with military conscripts who are in the middle of their basic education. All respondents belonged to the armory regiment P4 in Skövde, Sweden. The material selected for the study consists of a campaign from the Recruitment Authority (2017) and two campaigns from the Swedish Armed Forces (2018).

The theories from which the study is based on are Stuart Hall’s encoding / decoding theory, theories on framing and theories on advertising, stereotypes and mirror theories. These theories help the study to shed light on the different parts of the process when a message is packaged and coded and how they are finally interpreted by their recipients. 

The study shows that the military conscripts believe that the authorities have chosen appropriate efforts to increase gender equality in the Swedish Armed Forces in the long term. They believe that the authorities communicate a broader picture of who can be a soldier, they consider contributing to reaching new target groups, including both women and men who do not identify with the historical norm of a soldier. 

The respondents, however, highlight a gap between how the authorities communicate the distribution between men and women versus reality. Although the picture does not correspond to reality, they understand the purpose for which the authorities have chosen to show women to the extent they do.

The study shows that government communication with such realistic images of military service as possible is the one that the target group interpret in the most efficient way and which is best appreciated. Our study also shows that the respondents do not automatically believe that the authorities' communication loosens the stereotypical image of a soldier simply because they show women instead of men. Instead, there are other factors (such as attributes or charisma) that contribute to the presentation being perceived as stereotyped.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 72
Keywords [en]
The Armed Forces, the Recruiting Authority, military service, communication, gender equality, stereotypes, framing
Keywords [sv]
Försvarsmakten, Rekryteringsmyndigheten, värnplikt, kommunikation, jämställdhet, stereotyper, gestaltning
National Category
Communication Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-70850OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-70850DiVA, id: diva2:1284015
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Educational program
Study programme in Public Relations
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-02-14 Created: 2019-01-30 Last updated: 2019-02-14Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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