Power Resources Among Female Military Personnel

Frida Linehagen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


The Armed Forces are one of Sweden’s largest governmental organizations and at the same time one of Sweden’s most gender-segregated and male-dominated workplaces. Recruiting more women into the organization is one of the organization’s main goals for personnel planning, along with providing them with more opportunities for career development. This study sought a deeper understanding of the power resources that can be identified and which are used by female military personnel within the armed forces. A total of 16 women were interviewed and their ranks ranged from soldier/sailor to general/admiral. The qualitative analysis of the interviews shows that female military personnel use power resources to adapt to the male-dominated organization’s demands and to even out perceived asymmetric power relationships in their daily professional work. The power resources can be explained using four themes: structural power resources, cultural and social power resources, emotional power resources, and minority perspective as a power resource. More female military personnel would have increased the task effectiveness of the military organization. To make that possible, the Swedish Armed Forces would have to discuss the prevailing masculinity norm, the meaning of being a man, and the gains of a more gender-equal organization.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Military Professionalism for the Changing Armed Forces
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-45570-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-45569-9
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Sciences
  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • Gender Studies


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