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Utmanad ordning? En studie av kön och jämställdhetsarbete i den svenska gruvindustrins arbetsorganisationer
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Humans and technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4060-2327
2019 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Challenging the Gendered Order? A study of Gender and Gender Equality Work in the Swedish Mining Industry (English)
Abstract [sv]

Män, maskulin symbolik och hårt manuellt arbete har länge präglat gruvan som arbetsplats. Samtidigt som detta fortfarande existerar, är idag allt fler gruvarbetare kvinnor, jämställdhetsarbete beskrivs som prioriterat samt att ny teknik och nya arbetssätt implementeras. Gruvans arbetsorganisationer uppvisar således en dubbelhet av stabilitet och förändring. Denna avhandling syftar till att undersöka hur kön och jämställdhetsarbete konstrueras och hur detta påverkar könsrelationer i den svenska gruvindustrins mansdominerade arbetsorganisationer. Med utgångspunkt i feministiska teorier förstås kön som ett görande och organisatoriska strukturer, processer och praktiker som konstituerande för sociala maktordningar i gruvans arbetsorganisationer. Avhandlingen bygger på fyra empiriska delstudier och baseras på ett femtontal arbetsplatsbesök samt tjugo intervjuer med gruvarbetare från arbetsplatser under jord och fyra intervjuer med personalchefer.

Resultatet visar att relationen mellan kön och gruvarbete inte är given, utan ständigt förhandlas. Det ökande antalet kvinnor i gruvarbete försvårar upprätthållandet av arbetet som för och av män, och ny teknik och nya arbetssätt har öppnat upp för en omförhandling gällande vem och vilka som kan utföra gruvarbete. Tidigare var arbetet i gruvan reserverat för män, idag har den könsgränsen förflyttats inom gruvarbetet och mellan olika arbetsplatser och arbetsuppgifter. I den informella interaktionen mellan gruvarbetarna används jargongen för att bevara den rådande ordningen av mäns givna plats och dominans, men också som en arena för utmaning och motstånd. Arbetet för ökad jämställdhet motiveras framförallt av uppfattningen att jämställdhet stärker gruvföretagens lönsamhet och konkurrenskraft, något som i sin tur påverkar jämställdhetsarbetets innehåll. Jämställdhetsarbetet förväntas även bidra till en förbättrad psykosocial arbetsmiljö i och med att kvinnor anses ha någonting positivt och annorlunda (än män) att bidra med på arbetsplatserna. Kvinnor tenderar att förstås som en betydande del av problemet (bristen på kvinnor) och dess lösning (fler kvinnor) när dessa organisationer arbetar med jämställdhetsfrågor. I förlängningen innebär detta att det främst är kvinnor som befinner sig utanför organisationerna som ska lösa problemet med ojämställdhet i organisationerna. Organisationernas jämställdhetsgöranden har inte enbart bäring på könskonstruktioner och könsrelationer utan också andra maktrelationer i organisationerna, framförallt klass och plats. När gruppen män aktualiseras som ett problem i relation till ojämställdhet så är det inte alla män, utan arbetarklassmän i det rurala som beskrivs som problemet. På så sätt förstås (o)jämställdhet inte primärt som en fråga om makt, strukturer och processer inom den egna organisationen utan placeras främst på grupper av människor i (och utanför) organisationerna.

Abstract [en]

Men, masculine symbolism and hard manual labour have long characterised the mine as a workplace. While this still holds true, today more and more miners are women, gender equality is described as a priority and new technologies and new work methods are being implemented. This means that mining organisations demonstrate a duality of both stability and change. This dissertation aims to investigate how gender and gender equality work are constructed and how this affects gender relations in the Swedish mining industry’s male-dominated organisations. With feminist theories as a starting point, gender is understood as a ‘doing’ and organisational structures, processes and practices as constituting social power structures. The dissertation is based on four empirical sub-studies, 15 workplace visits, 20 interviews with miners from underground workplaces and four interviews with HR managers.

The results show that the relationship between gender and mining is not self-evident, but rather is constantly being negotiated. The increasing number of women in mining makes it more difficult to sustain the idea of mining as by and for men, and new technology and new work methods have provided an opening for renegotiating who can carry out mining. Previously, working in mines was reserved for men; today the gender boundary has shifted within mining and among different workplaces and tasks. In the informal interaction among the miners, jargon serves to preserve the prevailing order of men’s traditional place and dominance, but also as an arena of challenge and resistance. Efforts to increase gender equality are mainly motivated by the perception that gender equality will strengthen the mining companies’ profitability and competitiveness, which in turn affects how efforts to achieve gender equality are formulated. Gender equality is also expected to help improve the psychosocial working environment because of the perception that women have something positive and different (than men) to contribute to the workplace. Women tend to be regarded as a significant part of the problem (the lack of women) and its solution (more women) when these organisations work on gender equality issues. This means that it is mainly women outside the organisations who are to solve the problem of gender inequality in the organisations. The organisations’ ‘gender equality doing’ not only has a bearing on gender and gender relations but also on other power relationships in the organisations, especially class and place. When the male group is brought to the fore as a problem in relation to gender inequality, it is not all men but working class men in rural areas, who are depicted as the problem. In this way, (in)equality is not seen primarily as a question of power, structures and processes within the organisation but is attributed primarily to groups of people in (and outside) the organisations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2019.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords [sv]
kön, jämställdhet, jämställdhetsarbete, organisation, industriorganisation, arbete, industriarbete, gruvarbete, teknik, intersektionalitet, humor, jargong
National Category
Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Human Work Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-75677ISBN: 978-91-7790-427-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7790-428-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-75677DiVA, id: diva2:1345259
Public defence
2019-10-18, Hörsal A109, Luleå, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-08-26 Created: 2019-08-23 Last updated: 2019-09-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Omförhandling i gruvan?: om kön, arbete och förändring i den mansdominerade gruvnäringen
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Omförhandling i gruvan?: om kön, arbete och förändring i den mansdominerade gruvnäringen
2017 (Swedish)In: Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap, ISSN 1654-5443, E-ISSN 2001-1377, Vol. 38, no 1-2, p. 33-54Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article aims to discuss the complexity of stability and change in terms of the relation of gender and work in traditionally male-dominated workplaces, and more specifically in the Swedish mining industry. Mining has for a long time had a close relationship to men and masculinity. From the 1980s until 2005, the proportion of women miners increased from three to six per cent, but during the last ten years the proportion of women miners has increased more rapidly and today the number of women is 15 per cent. What made and makes this change possible? In this article, we merge previous studies concerning mining, gender and organization with new empirical material. Interviews with 20 miners, both men and women, were carried out to present a framework for understanding the contemporary negotiations of gender and work. Our conclusion is that the change in gender patterns can be understood through the following three interlinked processes of stability and change concerning: 1) mining work 2) the relationship between professional identity and masculinity and 3) the companies’ work towards gender equality. Together, these processes create a different outcome than before. Although much is changing in the mining industry, the stability characterizing its gendered relations is at the same time both notably durable and persistent. There is a remaining theoretical challenge to better understand these processes of change, stability and negotiation concerning the relationship of gender and work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Studentcentrum, Malmö högskola, 2017
Keywords
gender patterns, work, organization, male-dominated, negotiation, change, stability, mining
National Category
Work Sciences Gender Studies Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Gender and Technology; Industrial Work Environment
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-63422 (URN)
Note

Validerad;2017;Nivå 1;2017-06-01 (rokbeg)

Available from: 2017-05-18 Created: 2017-05-18 Last updated: 2019-09-25Bibliographically approved
2. The Business Case of Gender Equality in Swedish Forestry and Mining: Restricting or Enabling Organizational Change
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Business Case of Gender Equality in Swedish Forestry and Mining: Restricting or Enabling Organizational Change
2017 (English)In: Gender, Work and Organization, ISSN 0968-6673, E-ISSN 1468-0432, Vol. 24, no 6, p. 628-642Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Forestry and mining constitutes an important part of Swedish basic industry. These industries are heavily male-dominated and are expressing an ambition to become more gender equal and less gender-segregated, arguing that this could strengthen their competitiveness in a number of areas. In this article we explore how company representatives construct gender equality as a business case and discuss how these constructions restrict and/or enable gender equality in these organizations. Departing from a social constructivist understanding of how language (re)produces gendered power relations in the workplace, the empirical basis of this paper consists of eight interviews with respondents who possess special insights into, and being of strategic importance to, gender equality issues in forestry and mining companies. In our analysis we found three dominant dimensions of the business case of gender equality Marketing (as) gender equality, Uncovering the male norm and Gender equality as a depoliticized value. We conclude that the business case framing facilitates for the companies to engage in issues of gender equality. However, issues concerning conflicting interests and power relations seem to be difficult to address within the business case discourse. This we argue affects and shapes the terms for gender equality in these organizations

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell Publishing, 2017
Keywords
gender equality, business case, forestry, mining, industry
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Gender and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-65043 (URN)10.1111/gwao.12187 (DOI)000412750200005 ()
Note

Validerad;2017;Nivå 2;2017-10-30 (andbra)

Available from: 2017-08-14 Created: 2017-08-14 Last updated: 2019-08-23Bibliographically approved
3. “It’s just a joke!” Informal interaction and gendered relations underground
Open this publication in new window or tab >>“It’s just a joke!” Informal interaction and gendered relations underground
(English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Human Work Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-75676 (URN)
Available from: 2019-08-23 Created: 2019-08-23 Last updated: 2019-08-23
4. Who needs to be ‘more equal’ and why? Doing gender equality in male-dominated industries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Who needs to be ‘more equal’ and why? Doing gender equality in male-dominated industries
(English)In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-75675 (URN)
Available from: 2019-08-23 Created: 2019-08-23 Last updated: 2019-08-23

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