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A striking pattern: Co-construction of innovation, men and masculinity in Sweden’s innovation policy
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Human Work Science.
2012 (Swedish)In: Promoting innovation: Policies, Practices and Procedures, Stockholm: Vinnova , 2012, 47-67 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter explores the mutual interconnectedness of gender and innovation in innovation policy, using Sweden as an empirical case. Firstly, the priority pattern of actors and industries in innovation policy programmes and strategies is examined. Secondly, the link from the priority pattern to men and masculinities is scrutinised. Thirdly, the dynamics of this link are discussed in relation to prospects for a policy that is not based on segregating and hierarchical gender constructions. The empirical data covers all national (and a selection of regional) policy programmes promoting innovation systems and clusters since the turn of the millennium in Sweden, as described in public policy documents. It is revealed that the groups of Basic and Manufacturing Industries and New Technologies, both primarily employing men as employees and entrepreneurs, have been given high priority within Sweden’s innovation policy whilst the group of Service and Experience Industries, employing mostly women, has been given low priority. On a symbolic level, the two prioritised groups can be connected to two forms of masculinities: one based on physical strength and mechanical skills and the other on a calculating rationality among technological experts. Introducing the concept of co-construction of gender and innovation, it is highlighted how gender/masculinity and innovation are mutually constructed within the innovation policy when the pattern of prioritisation coincides with the gender-segregated labour market. Three different strategies could be combined to change these gendered patterns: inclusion, reversal and displacement. These reduce formal barriers to women and men in the formulation of policy programmes and strategies, acknowledge the importance of areas employing many women in policy priorities and reach beyond dualistic gender constructions by including a wide range of actors, areas and innovations. Innovation systems and clusters which manage to bridge the gap between different industries have the potential to reach beyond segregating and hierarchical gender constructions in Sweden’s innovation policy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Vinnova , 2012. 47-67 p.
, V I N N O V A Rapport, ISSN 1650-3104 ; 2012:08
Research subject
Gender and Technology; Effective innovation and organisation (AERI)
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-20659Local ID: 6d782500-94ff-4184-a831-e2839a817260ISBN: 978-91-86517-71-7OAI: diva2:993703

Godkänd; 2012; 20121216 (mallin)

Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2016-10-19Bibliographically approved

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