Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
This Master's Thesis studies the attitude that library employees have regarding a sex and gender-neutral treatment
of their clients. The analysis is based upon replies to a questionnaire which was submitted though channels directed
at library employees, like BIBLIST and BiblFeed. The respondent’s replies contained a number of welldeveloped
comments making the resultant analysis both quantitative and qualitative in nature.
In performing the analysis a theoretical framework combining Hirdman’s gender system with symbolic interactionism
has been used together with literature about gender roles.
The questionnaire showed that gender neutrality is a complex concept that can be interpreted in many different
ways and is therefore easily misunderstood. It is obvious that sex is an important category when respondents are
dealing with their clients, but also that sex and gender are problematic concepts which respondents find difficult
to know exactly how to relate to. A lot of the respondents see a need to address gender issues, but a lot of them
also state that gender is a biological concept and therefore impossible or unnecessary to have to relate to. In general,
in the replies to the questionnaire availability tops the list over important questions to be addressed in the
library while sex and gender have very low priority.
My belief is that gender norms are possible to change and that sex and gender issues should be prioritized by virtue
of being recognised as an availability issue. It is everybody’s individual fundamental values that together form
society’s common fundamental values. If we all put on our gender glasses and are prepared to alter how we treat
one another we can, eventually, make sex and gender less important categories and begin to see our clients as individuals.
Gender (Sex), Libraries and Society, Sex role in literature, Social structure.
Genus, Bibliotek och samhälle, Könsroller i litteraturen, Sociala strukturer.