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Gender neutrality vs. Gender equality: A qualitative case study of gendered norms within the Swedish Armed Forces
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Armed forces has historically been, and is still today, an essential actor in peacekeeping. Armed forces provides peacekeeping missions with the aim to provide stability and security in war-torn areas. Despite the mission’s aim, sexual transgressions by soldiers have been reported. Victims of these transgressions have been both soldiers and locals from the areas where the soldiers were supposed to provide stability and security. As a consequence of these revelations, a debate arose concerning the suitability of using armed forces for peacekeeping missions. The debate has been dominated by feminist scholars, who questioned for whom security is provided, if it is provided by the armed forces. Feminist scholars have highlighted the traditional understanding of the armed forces as carriers of destructive masculinity norms. With a point of departure in this debate, this study seeks to examine and understand gendered norms within the Swedish Armed Forces with the aim to understand if the views of Swedish peacekeepers gender relations and equality is compatible with keeping peace.

This study is conducted as a single case study, based on semi-structured interviews. The central findings of this research concern the Swedish Armed Forces’ views and strategy on gender equality and how the male and female soldiers perceive and have experienced gender relations and equality. Lastly this research identifies some challenges for the work with gender equality within the Swedish Armed Forces. The study concludes that the Swedish Armed Forces work towards gender equality through gender neutrality. Even if there has been major work put into the area of equality, there is still evidence of gender-based discrimination and views upon gender relations and equality which does not correlate with the organisations vision of an equal organisation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 50 p.
Keyword [en]
Gender, Masculinity, Femininity, Military, Swedish Armed Forces, Power, Equality, Feminism
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-54375OAI: diva2:944217
Subject / course
Peace and development
Educational program
Peace and Development Programme, 180 credits
Available from: 2016-06-29 Created: 2016-06-29 Last updated: 2016-06-29Bibliographically approved

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Lindsmyr, Elin
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