Gendering the sociology profession : Sweden, Britain and the US

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : Almqvist & Wiksell Internationa

Sammanfattning: The dissertation explores the relationship between gender and professions with a historical sociological analysis of the sociology profession in Sweden, Britain and the US. The theoretical framework draws upon three conceptual terrains: professions, organizations and gender. A variety of sources are utilized, such as published and unpublished material, interviews, available statistics, auto/biographies and archival material. The aim of the dissertation is twofold. First, it seeks to add to theorizing about the relationship between gender and professions by exploring the ways in which the emergence, organization of and knowledge production in an academic profession interrelates with gender. Second, the dissertation considers how gender is interrelated with the historical development of sociology as a profession.A revised concept of the “professional project” - which involves historically specific strategies of occupational closure - is used as an analytical tool to examine gendered processes of exclusion and demarcation that occurred in the three national histories of sociology. The dissertation considers three dimensions that are central to that framework of analysis - professional associations, academic departments and sociological canon – to explore how the restructuring of gender relations varied in different organizational spheres and over time.Although both women and men were involved in the sociological movement that preceded the emergence of the sociology profession, men came to dominate the institutional arenas such as sociology departments and professional associations. The conception of sociology as a field excluded the previous work of women, and some men, whose work did not fit the new agenda of objective science. Despite the fact that sociology as a profession institutionalised in different periods in Sweden, Britain and the US, until the late 1960s women were largely absent from higher posts in professional associations, sociology departments and the sociological canon. Also in all three sociology fields, there were social movements and women’s professional organizations that sought to bring women into the sociology profession and to put gender research on sociological agenda. Of the three arenas linked to the professional project, i. e. professional associations, academic departments and sociological canon, my analysis shows that women have made the greatest inroads in professional associations in terms of broadening the associations’ membership and representation as well as institutionalising gender caucuses and programs into the associations. Academic departments, where the production of future professionals and most knowledge takes place, have been slower to change. Finally, despite notable achievements in gendering sociological theory and research, gender has not yet become fully integrated into sociological canon.

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