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Lärarprofessionens genusordning: En studie av lärares uppfattningar om arbetsuppgifter, kompetens och förväntningar
Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, Utbildningsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Göteborgs universitet. .ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7438-0232
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis presents a study of the gender order of the teaching profession. It focuses on how teachers perceive meanings of the gender order in their work. It also focuses how the gender order is expressed in the interviewees’ understandings and interpretations of their assignment and work.

The theoretical concept gender contract (Hirdmans, 1988, 2007) is used to interpret and analyse how teachers apprehend their work tasks and how these are carried out. Lindgrens (1985, 1999) studies of majority- and minority positions at a work place are relevant as that the amount of women and men in schools’ lower grades differ. The theoretical concept gender regime (Connell, 1996) is used to study how the overall gender order is expressed in different schools. Connell (1999) describe a hierarchy of masculinities which is used as a tool to understand how the male teachers reason about expectations from others.

The thesis is primarily based on an interview study among fourteen teachers in grade three to five in an urban municipality. Some data from a questionnaire, answered by approximately 600 teachers who work with children 10-12 years old, are also included.

Results show that social dimensions are intervened with pedagogic-didactic aspects, but at the same time talked about as disturbing teachers’ main assignment. Social dimensions are described as taking a lot of teachers’ time and energy, but also as “that all round”. Especially the male teachers discuss aspects as caring and relationships to pupils and describe these aspects as a source to challenge in work. From a gender perspective, it is interesting to note that it is mostly female coded aspects, i.e. relationships that are described as “that all around”. Contact with parents is highly emphasized and influenced by aspects of ethnicity. Several teachers state that norms in the pupils’ home environment and norms in school differ. Because of this, contact with parents includes dilemmas.

Partly because of that, it can be hard to delimit the teacher role from the private role.

Even if tasks related to social dimensions in work are described as “that all around”, the importance of the teachers’ social competence is emphasized. The teachers maintain that competence in work does not have anything to do with the gender of the teacher. Especially younger teachers tend to emphasize abilities and competences of the individual. At the same time, it seems that women and men partly handle different kinds of tasks and that certain tasks get gender coded, which corresponds to the regulations of the gender contract through which the gender order is established.

Several male teachers state that they have worked as teachers for smaller groups of pupils with special needs, without having the relevant educational background. These men also told that they were recruited to handle instable groups of pupils. Thereby, they are expected to behave like “real men”, i.e. perform a hegemonic masculinity, and if they don’t they run a risk to be seen as unmanly. Feelings of shame are discussed only by male teachers. This shows that not only women but also men “suffer” of the gender order.

The male teachers dwell upon strong expectations from parents to “uphold peace and quiet” in a way that female teachers don’t. However, when focusing the corresponding theme in the questionnaire, the picture changes. 91% (n=366) of the female teachers and 86% (n=235) of the male teachers feel to a high degree expectations from parents to “uphold peace and quiet”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 2009. , p. 177
Series
Göteborg studies in educational sciences, ISSN 0436-1121 ; 276
Keyword [sv]
Lärarprofession, Genusordning
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-30243ISBN: 9789173466509 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-30243DiVA, id: diva2:667312
Public defence
2009-04-24, Kjell Härnqvistsalen, Pedagogen Hus A, Göteborgs universitet, Göteborg, 10:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2013-11-28 Created: 2013-11-26 Last updated: 2014-12-09Bibliographically approved

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