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Discourse of Gender: How language creates reality
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship.
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This master thesis deals with the gender perception in leaderships positions. Starting from our awareness of a gendered leadership gap, this thesis aims to show our development towards our understanding of reality as socially constructed. We apply the Discourse in order to see how oppression works on women.

In the course of our master thesis, we came across poststructuralists, like Foucault, Derrida and Lacan, philosopher and psychoanalysts, like Freud, Beauvoir, Irigaray, Kristeva and Butler, as well as sociolinguists, like Cameron, Miller, Baxter and Tannen. Their ideas have enriched our gendered Discourses. Furthermore, by dealing with their ideas, we were able to understand how powerful words can be. Words have the power to create identities, our reality and oppress certain groups of people. The group of people we have focussed on are women. Although the category “women” is fragmented and gender is one of many features of persons, there is something that all women share – oppression through language. Thus, women are less likely to move in the corporate ladder and lead.

In two Discourse Analysis based on job advertisements for leadership positions offered in Germany and Italy, we see how language-in-use may cause a reason for a gendered leadership gap. The Discourses available to us influence how we understand the reality around us, construct our identities and negotiate our roles. With this thesis, we hope contribute to today’s Discourses and raise people’s awareness of how our language keeps women from entering leadership positions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Leadership, gender, sex, Discourse, language, Post-structuralism, feminism, Foucault, female leadership, glass ceiling
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-34623OAI: diva2:721351
Subject / course
Business Administration - Organization Leadership
Educational program
Leadership and Management in International Context, Master Programme, 60 credits
Available from: 2014-06-05 Created: 2014-06-04 Last updated: 2014-08-15Bibliographically approved

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