Don't touch my hair: A Qualitative Study on Professional Norms and Meanings of Black Female Hair in Swedish Public Administration
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
This single case study conducted with creative interviews, addresses perceptions of professional norms and meanings of black female hairstyles in Swedish public administration. By incorporating prior U.S scholarship and applying intersectional theory, black female hair is analyzed through social constructions of gender, race and class as intermeshed dimensions. This study indicates how the norms of neutrality, disadvantage black female employees in Swedish public administration, as they are subjected to stares, comments and touching of their "deviant" hairstyles. The intersectional analysis indicates how perceptions of femininity and blackness collide in problematic ways, as black professional hair is described as straight hair. Despite this, the informants were convinced that straight hair does not come naturally for black women. Concluding, this study suggests that black women may be more seriously taken, by presenting a "feminine" and "neutral" hairstyle, through subjecting themselves to perceived straight hair norms in Swedish public administration
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 60 p.
professional, norms, black, hair, Sweden
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-6438Local ID: EIS501OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-6438DiVA: diva2:732405
Subject / course