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Har jag grundad en ny version av könsmaktsteoriet?


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#1  Har jag grundad en ny version av könsmaktsteoriet? Pasi
2006-08-20 15:39:11

Hej!

Jag är inte säkert om jag har grundad en ny version av könsmaktsteoriet eller finns mina idear nästan skrivade in eksisterade versioner of teorin om genussystem ock konsmaktstruktur. Jag skulle vara mycket nöjd (thankful) om någon kunde ge mig en akatemisk svar på det här. (Please, excuse me for changing to english here).

According to my theory, the gender which has more power resources in certain sector of a society will tend to develop an ideology which naturalizes the superiority of the dominant gender. Gradually this ideology may become so common that it becomes a doksa (Bourdieu) in the cultures of organizations within that specific sector.

After the power and ideology have matched in a way that serves the dominant gender, the employees and customers of the "other" gender will be likely to be discriminated by companies, bureaucracies, tribes, families and informal networks of people operating on this specific sector.

According to my theory the discriminated gender may be either women or men, depending on the distribution of power resources within the sector of society which is under evaluation. The most important power resources for the analysis of dominance are 1) normative power resources, 2) political power resources, 3) managerial power resources and 4) grass root level power resources.

Question: Is it my own invention that these mechanisms of dominance and gender discrimination may occur also against men - or do the theories of Swedish feminists already recognize this chance?

In my doctoral study of 1147 complaints to the equality ombudsman of Finland, I have found out that 92% of the employees on social services are female, about 85% of the directors in these organizations are female, and men are about 9 times more likely to be discriminated by social service organizations than men. The measure for discrimination were the cases in which the Finnish equalilty ombudsman had confirmed the appearance of discrimination.

In a similar fashion, in all those fields of activity in which majority of managers were male, women had approximately 10-500 times higher higher chance of being discriminated by men.

#2  Sv: Har jag grundad en ny version av könsmaktsteoriet? Pasi
2006-08-20 15:47:38

NOTE: When analyzing the distribution of power resources within families, we must also take into account coercive power resources (Lundgren etc.) and the sexual power resources (Vilar etc.) if we want a full analysis which will satisfy all different schools and paradigms of gender studies.

#3  Sv: Har jag grundad en ny version av könsmaktsteoriet? slaktprod
2006-08-20 21:21:10

The patriarchy theory is, as you know, generaly applied to society as a whole. Bourdieu himself does not really use the idea of fields in his "La domination masculine" in the same way he uses them when analyzing law, education and such. I have not yet encountered any study that assesses female domination within a specific field in the way you suggest here. But all the same, it sounds like an obvious approach to me. Perhaps because I am also interested in both gender theories in general and the theoretical framework of Bourdieu.

Im not sure if you "invented" it, the usual question might be posed: do we ever invent anything, or do we just mix and match? :)

Sounds like you have some interesting results there though. Ofcourse what instantly comes to mind is if the Finnish equalilty ombudsman really can be considered "neutral". Is a complaint valued equally if the complainant is a man as if she was a woman?

#4  Sv: Har jag grundad en ny version av könsmaktsteoriet? fredriktomte
2006-08-20 21:40:57

To which extent your theory already is incorporated in Swedish feminism depends on what it is you mean, more specifically.

For example, if you are talking about gender roles in general resulting in both men and women being discriminated, then I think that a big majority among swedish feminist will agree with you (barring a few entrenched radical feminist convinced that men *allways* benifits from the social norms differentiating men from women).

However, if you mean that not only does some gender related norms discriminate against men, but that there is also a tendancy for female dominated social structures to discriminate against men, regardless of gender roles and social norms, then I don't think that your idea is quite as commonly accepted. That said I would hardly characterize your idea as new or unique. I'd say that there are a lot of Swedish feminist that would agree with you conclusion.

#5  Sv: Har jag grundat en ny version av könsmaktsteoriet? Pasi
2006-08-22 07:39:58

Slaktrprod, it is very likely that the Finnish equality ombudsman would be biased against women in her statements as about 90% of the persons who participate to the production of the statements are female in the ombudsman's office. Also, the ombudsman herself has been female for the entire duration of the study (1997-2004), the statements should not be biased against women.

#6  Sv: Har jag grundad en ny version av könsmaktsteoriet? Pasi
2006-08-22 07:44:37

Fredriktomte: "If you are talking about gender roles in general resulting in both men and women being discriminated, then I think that a big majority among swedish feminist will agree with you."

This is the correct interpretation of my theory. Male dominance will produce biased norms, values, role expectations, beliefs, stereotypes etc. which are likely to cause direct, indirect and structural discrimination against women. This same applies also the other way around.

Curious coincidence: I just read an article from Helsingin Sanomat about the cognitive bias of the Finnish unemployment offices "against men". This bias appeared in a simple manner, for example, as the unemployment office, in which 90% of employees were female, ordered only women's magazines to the waiting room even if majority of customers were male.

#7  Sv: Har jag grundad en ny version av könsmaktsteoriet? chalky
2006-08-22 12:20:32

i don't think theres anything particulary new about your theory. from what i have read, many feminist scientists have come to the conclusion that discrimanition against men is common, though the discourses (or fields) where women have the power to discriminate men are looked upon, by the society, as less meaningful.

#8  Sv: Har jag grundad en ny version av könsmaktsteoriet? Pasi
2006-08-22 19:09:14

[b]Slaktrprod[/b], one correction: It is very UNLIKELY (not likely) that the Finnish equality ombudsman would be biased against women in her statements.

[b]Chalky[/b], could you please give some reference to feminist who have concluded that discrimanition against men is common? These references would be very valuable to me as I would like to see my own theory as a part of the feminist paradigm, and not as a part of the antifeminist school of thought. My only references to women's studies on this issue are the following:

Hernes, Julkunen and Anttonen: Belief in the general woman friendly nature of the welfare state.

Joan Acker: Model of the division of the Swedish society to a feminine cluster and a masculine cluster in such a fashion that the feminine cluster consists of care-taking services (healthcare and social services) and equality discourse, while the masculine cluster consists of industry, trade, financial policy, and the corporative negotiations concerning wages and transfer payments.

However, it seems that even if Acker considers the feminine cluster (and the welfare state in general) as relatively female friendly, she seems to believe that also these sectors are vertically segregated in the fashion described by Hirdman so thet men in general, are considered as more valuable than women. That seems to suggest that the female friendly cluster of the welfare state would not discriminate against men - instead, it would be a very equalist cluster of the society.

#9  Pasi chalky
2006-08-22 19:49:18

not anyone that i can think of right away, but we read tons of that stuff when i took gender class. if i come to think about anyone i'll tell you.

#10  Sv: Har jag grundad en ny version av könsmaktsteoriet? slaktprod
2006-08-23 17:31:17

Unlikely that they would be discriminating against women.. yes. But is it equally unlikely that they would be discriminating against men? Also, a class-perpective would be fascinating in that same respect. Is your work done? Available from somewhere? It would be interesting to look at.

#11  Sv: Har jag grundad en ny version av könsmaktsteoriet? Pasi
2006-08-23 18:16:20

Slaktrprod, there is no indication that the Finnish ombudsman's office would intentionally discriminate against men. However, there are some subtle hints that they could have some degree of feminine bias in their perspective. For example, according to the Finnish equality law, the purpose of the law is "to advance gender equality and to prevent gender discrimination, and (in this purpose) to advance the status of women especially in the labour market". In one case the ombudsman stated that the "primary purpose of the law is to advance the status of women, especially on the labour market". This interpretation, which forgot the equality part from the purpose of the law, was used to for explaining why the ombudsman did not see it necessary to take strong actions against the tradition of some Finnish restaurants to offer women free entrance to night clubs on Thursdays. Otherwise, the practices seem to have been rather unbiased agains both genders.

The class perspective appears possibly in the way in which the "working class masculinity" makes working class men very reluctant to complain about anything to the ombudsman. Either working class men from industrial jobs are never discriminated, or they never complain. (There were only a couple cases of discrimination against male workers. One of them was a case in which a Norwegian fish food factory searched for male fish-fillet-cutters. This case was stated as "discrimination" by the Norwegian equality ombudsman, and filed as "discrimination" in the Finnish data. Even this case was filed originally by the personnel of the ombudsman's office, not by a working class man seeking for the position).

I will publish my thesis within 5-7 weeks from now. Until then, I can only send limited copies through e-mail to voluntary commentors. Please e-mail me to pasi.malmi(at)luukku.com and I will send you a copy.

#12  To Pasi fredriktomte
2006-08-25 14:49:16

Pasi sa:
Curious coincidence: I just read an article from Helsingin Sanomat about the cognitive bias of the Finnish unemployment offices "against men". This bias appeared in a simple manner, for example, as the unemployment office, in which 90% of employees were female, ordered only women's magazines to the waiting room even if majority of customers were male.


My guess is that sectors that are regarded as being a "natural" part of the female domain (female gender role) within society and at the same time dominated by women are the ones most likely to actively discriminate against men/boys. For example: social security authorities, child-care, elderly-care, pre-school and junior school, and so on. This female orientation might to some degree be lessened by a general male bias. But to asume that the there allways is a bias towards men, regardless of circumstance is lacking in nuance. There are several circumstances when the general bias is towards women rather than men. For example when it comes to qualifications as parents (women are generally assumed to be better parents than men).

Pasi sa:
I will publish my thesis within 5-7 weeks from now. Until then, I can only send limited copies through e-mail to voluntary commentors. Please e-mail me to pasi.malmi(at)luukku.com and I will send you a copy.


Sounds interesting. Would be great if you could post a short summary on feminetik when you're finished.

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