Könspolitik på gränsen : Debatterna om varannan damernas och Thamprofessurerna
Sammanfattning: This dissertation examines the struggle over concepts and categories in Swedish gender politics. The provocative issue of quotas for women is used to explore these processes and the boundaries of the gender equality project. The study employs a discourse analysis of two intense media debates: gender quotas in the political sphere whereby every other seat in parliament is reserved for a woman (‘varannan damernas’) and a proposal to create 30 professorships and use positive action principles in the hiring process (‘Thamprofessurerna’). The design of the study is comparative, analysing two debates on seemingly similar policies that were put forward as a remedy for gender inequality and under-representation, but with very different outcomes. The central questions posed are: what are the conditions under which gender politics can be justified in different arenas of social life? When and why do certain visions, problem definitions and solutions succeed or fail to get recognized?This study argues that the discursive terrain of competing ideas and visions, partly embedded in the two fields, open or limit the possibilities for contested gender policies to gain acceptance. The analysis shows that whereas the policy of ‘every other seat’ is accepted and integrated into the political field in a way that creates new political possibilities for women, the attempts to increase the number of women with the help of positive action is met with resistance in the debate over the academy. Notions of democracy as representation pave the way for gender quotas in the political system, whereas ideas of meritocracy and individual creativity hinder the reception of positive action measures within the academy.
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