Katastrofer och män. Explorativa undersökningar av ett komplext förhållande

Detta är en avhandling från Göteborg : Institutionen för socialt arbete, Göteborgs universitet

Sammanfattning: The present work is a doctoral dissertation in the field of social work with a gender perspective.Three case studies with an explorative approach were conducted, with the followingresearch questions as the point of departure: a) is there a catastrophe-related gender segregationregarding men, and b) if so, what does this segregation look like in terms of relatedforms and phenomena? The work has its methodological basis in grounded theory, whichis designed to generate theory that is firmly grounded in empirical data. Through theoreticalsampling, information regarding three catastrophes was collected – the ethnic cleansingin Srebrenica in 1995, the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, and the discothèque fire in Gothenburg1998.The central finding of the empirical studies suggests that there was a catastrophe-relatedgender segregation regarding men in all three cases. This was primarily evident in the factthat men collectively organized to defeat the causes and consequences of the catastrophicevents that had taken place. Women were evacuated from the scene while men were leftbehind, or ordered there to help combat the catastrophe. Other phenomena that proved tobe related to the main phenomenon, i.e. catastrophe-related gender segregation, were, forexample, polarized normative patterns regarding men that pointed toward correctness, loyalty,and maximal performance on the one hand, or incorrectness, cowardice, and treacheryon the other, and also altered psychological states as part of a process of mental mobilizationin preparation of catastrophe-controlling tasks.The catastrophes conditioned a redefinition of the relationship between men andwomen where the consistent structural priority given to men was temporarily suspended.To a great extent, men were collectively exposed to deadly risks, and in two of the threecases the actual mortality of men was very high. The findings have led to the conclusionthat men are relatively expendable in the event of a catastrophe. This conclusion, which ispart of a grounded theory of the relationship between catastrophes and men, is discussed inthe final chapter of the dissertation in relation to existing theory regarding sex, gender, andpatriarchy, and phenomena like dissociation, civilization, and safety.

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