Making the gender aspect visible in qualitative research about learning. A question of trustworthiness and credibility in variations.

Research output: Working paper/PreprintWorking paper


This paper suggests that there is a substantial risk when it comes to ensuring that we distinguish between gender-influenced experiences visible in qualitative research results/outcomes. The question is whether the object of inquiry in qualitative research in general allows other voices to be heard than the majority/mainstream voice. Or is there a risk that some voices will drown in the voice of the mainstream (norm) and then not be heard in the description of variations? Based on the idea that qualitative research strive to describe variations in humans’ ways of experiencing a phenomenon, it is argued that, the research approach must incorporate the awareness of being aware of a gender aspect. This must become an intertwined part of the nature/quality of variations of experiences described in the study’s’ outcomespace/results. It is of great importance that this must be a natural component of (credible) qualitative research. My concern is that qualitative research do not critical reflect on and do not distinctly acknowledging the deep impact that social discourse at work have on humans’ gendered constitution of knowledge, meaning and understanding. As a result of the lack of a gender-sensitive approach and not bringing out a gender aspect in data and analysis, in order to transcend into the variation outcome in the results, something crucial in terms of experiences are missing out. Rationale: drawing on the assumption that descriptions of variations in humans’ constitutions of meaning and understanding and approaches in learning that emerge from empirical data gathered, embedded in a western learning environmental context, raises questions about the quality of the differences in the variations described. However, if, the pattern of variation is embedded and constituted in the ruling social discourse at work, and also assuming that the pattern of variation in meaning and understanding builds on fundamental values shaped in a mainly western (liberal) humanist discourse, then there is a considerable risk of gender blindness in the shaping of variations in meaning(s). The critical view presented in this paper draws partly on the presumptions in post-modern discourse and feminist research in general and a post-structural discourses in particular, and draws attention to the critique concerning dominant discursive regimes and regulatory frameworks in relation to gender (values).
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusUnpublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Nursing (Closed 2012) (013065000), Education (012013003)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Educational Sciences


  • liberal-humanism
  • learning
  • a gender aspect
  • research
  • poststructural
  • epistemology


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