The Engendered Concept of Competence and Its Consequences

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


Focusing on the concept of competence, the paper proposes that the concept itself is engendered, i.e., it is a concept that is defined in male terms. As such it functions to define women as a group as lacking or devoid of the traits, characteristics and/or behaviors that are necessary for being "seen" and being perceived of as competent in educational settings and on the labour market. The paper is based on research conducted on the original population of the Malmö Longitudingal Study, which began in 1938, and focuses on the individuals who during their lifetime have experienced the rise and the fall of the Swedish Welfare State. Using this research as a starting point, the highly gender-segregated labour market, its resistance to change, and the inertia of the educational system to respond to demands for equivalent practices are discussed.
The argument is advanced that the situation in Sweden, such as it is described in this paper, provides insight regarding the consequences of the engendered concept of competence and provides a valuable tool for understanding the growing problem of the inequitable distribution of funding for on-the-job training around the world today.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Educational Sciences
Original languageEnglish
StateUnpublished - 2007
EventWorld Congress of Comparative Education Societies Congress - Saravejo
Duration: 0001 Jan 2 → …


ConferenceWorld Congress of Comparative Education Societies Congress
Period0001/01/02 → …