Maktutövning ur ett organisations- och genusperspektiv. En studie vid tre vårdavdelningar

Gunilla Albinsson, Kerstin Arnesson

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)


The primary aim of the present thesis is to increase understandig of the relationship between organisational structure, gender and power. Understanding of this relationship requires a closeness to the individual being studied as well to the content and consequences of that individuals´actions. The empirical object of study is a group of professional women at a somatic clinic. The problem investigated is based on a theoretical perspective on organisations; feminist theories and power theories. Our starting point was that these women should be seen as subjects who actively shape their own daily living situation, experience and actions. We thus felt it appropriate to choose a qualitative method. Data was collected by means of observation and qualitative interviews. The results show that the first foundation of gender-related domination at the clinic was hierarchial and bureaucratic and was characterised by a clear power symmetry and division of labour. The second foundation of gender-related domination resulted in the organisational structure of the clinic allowing a few men at the top of the hierarchy to exercise power over the women in the middle and lower levels. An important conclusion is that the women studied were clearly at a disadvantage in a hierarchial organisation. The difference in influence between men and women in the study was further reinforced by the fact that the various professional categories belonged to different sub-cultures. The unisexual sub-cultures when combined with the doctor´s normative sub-culture further increased the opportunities for the men studied to dominate the women, thereby reinforcing the impression that the organisation was based om male norms and the logic of segregation.

Male domination can also be understood from an individual perspective. The men studied adopted different strategies as a means of accentuating their position in relation to the women. The study comprised a few women who used specific domination tactics. They possessed knowledge of the different power techniques open to them, and they used these in their relations with men.

Knowledge of the two foundations mentioned stimulates the desire to initiate changes. One element of significance in such changes is the re-forming of structural conditions. It is important to bring about changes at individual level. Men and women´s consciousness of, and knowledge about, gender-related domination must be the focus of attention.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Electrical and Information Technology
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date2000 May 25
ISBN (Print)91-88810-11-9
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2000-05-25
Time: 10:15
Place: E 122 Lärarhögskolan i Malmö

External reviewer(s)

Name: Öhrn, Elisabeth
Title: Docent
Affiliation: Göteborgs universitet


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering

Free keywords

  • Organisation
  • Pedagogik
  • power
  • Pedagogy and didactics
  • resistance
  • gender
  • didaktik

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