The Symbolic Order of Gender in Academic Workplace


It is well known that universities are male dominated both in history as well as in the dominant discourses. As knowledge producing organizations universities also carries the heritage of defending the scientific ethos of meritocracy and objectivity, these are rules that many researchers still are trained to believe in. This makes often studying of gender inequality in academia a difficult task since it not only reveals the gendered structures of academia but also violates the norms of science implying that science is socially biased. This article explores how gender inequality is produced within the discourse of equality at Swedish universities. The underlying assumption is that gender inequality on the level of the academic departments is produced within the broader discourses of gender, power, science and equality operating in everyday academic working lives and in society in general.

How to Cite

Mählck, P., (2004) “The Symbolic Order of Gender in Academic Workplace”, Ethnologia Europaea 34(1), 81-97. doi:

Publisher Notes

  • This article was previously published by Museum Tusculanum Press.


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Paula Mählck (Mälardalens University)



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