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Happy objects, happy men?: Affect and materiality in vocational training
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Centrum för genusforskning.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8019-2396
Linnaeus University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6016-4416
2015 (English)In: Gender and Education, ISSN 0954-0253, E-ISSN 1360-0516, Vol. 27, no 5, 523-538 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article investigates the prevailing social inertia of vocational training. Previous research indicates that gendered social norms contribute to sustaining gendersegregation. Few studies, however, have paid attention to how the interplay of emotional and material factors impact on gender norms in vocational training.The article builds on an ethnographic study in a Swedish upper-secondaryeducational programme traditionally dominated by masculinity norms, namelythe Building and Construction programme. Employing Sara Ahmed’s notion ofhappy objects, the article centres on vocational students’ expressed joy in thepractical work and shows how joy contributes to sustaining and challenging dominant masculinity patterns. Though students enjoyed practical work, thestudy indicates that a particular version of happiness was normalised which ruledout non-heterosexual and female students. The article suggests that furtherstudies of social inertia in vocational training need to account for theinterconnectedness of the emotional, material, and corporeal dimensions of gender.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2015. Vol. 27, no 5, 523-538 p.
Keyword [en]
embodiment, emotions/affect, ethnography, masculinities, materiality, secondary education, vocational education
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-37973DOI: 10.1080/09540253.2015.1069797ISI: 000360216900004OAI: diva2:854509
Genusperspektiv på yrkessocialisationen inom gymnasieskolans byggprogram och omvårdnadsprogram
Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU), 120/2011
Available from: 2015-09-17 Created: 2015-09-17 Last updated: 2016-03-10Bibliographically approved

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Åberg, MagnusHedlin, Maria
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