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Man talar om jämställd idrott: Om jämställdhetssamtal med manliga idrottsledare och förutsättningar för jämställd idrott
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Sport and Health Sciences.
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Constructions of gender equality in Swedish sport : Discourses and subject positions in conversations about gender equality with male sport coaches and leaders (English)
Abstract [en]

As a result of a historically anchored relationship between the Swedish state and the sports movement, gender equality has been a prioritized area of interest in Swedish sports since the 1970s. Despite long-term work in this field, research indicates a notable gap between what is said and done at the central level and locally. Research also indicates attitude problems; gender equality is often seen as an insignificant or unnecessary issue.

This thesis seeks to relate to and analyze this development. Answers are sought via male sport coaches and leaders. This approach is motivated by the fact that gender equality-related sport research in Sweden seldom focuses on men and masculinities. At the same time men have been overrepresented as power holders and decision makers, and gender equality has consequently been constructed as a women’s issue. By means of a post-structural discourse analysis, the aim is to investigate constructions of gender equality in interviews with 47 leaders selected from seven sports. How is gender equality constructed in terms of meanings of and standpoints in relation to the concept, and which discourses set the frames for these constructions? Which subject positions are articulated?

Results show that gender equality is given many different meanings in the interviews and that these meanings are produced in line with three discourses: a women’s rights discourse (semi-essentialism, structural feminism, a quantitative and qualitative support for women’s sport), a gender critical discourse (constructionism, structural feminism, “women can”, deconstructions of femininities) and a liberal discourse (“sport for all”, individualism, gender neutrality). Furthermore, four subject positions are distinguished: the skeptic, the cynic, the women rightist and the norm critic position. When the results are related to the production of gender equality policies four aspects are discussed, 1) relations between discourses (the discourses generate contradictory interpretations of sport, subjectivity, gender and equality), 2) men and gender equality, 3) the relatively substantial lack of interest in gender equality in the interviews and 4) sport and pluralism.

One conclusion in the thesis is that the women’s rights discourse dominates and that the liberal discourse is marginalized in the interviews. Further, it is suggested that an elaboration and a more frequent practice of the gender critical discourse could be useful in the development of the gender equality project in Swedish sport. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH , 2014.
Avhandlingsserie för Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, 02
Keyword [en]
sport, gender, gender equality, men, masculinities, sport leaders and coaches, post-structuralism, discourse analysis, subject positions
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences Gender Studies
Research subject
Social Sciences/Humanities
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-3424ISBN: 978-91-980862-1-8OAI: diva2:742422
Public defence
2014-10-10, Aulan, GIH, Lidingövägen 1, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Forskningslinjen Fritid
Available from: 2014-09-16 Created: 2014-09-01 Last updated: 2016-09-19

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Kempe-Bergman, Matthis
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