PhD project: Motivation, organisational gender equality work and the postfeminist gender regime: A feminist approach

  • Høg Utoft, Ea (Participant)

Project: Research

Project Details


Denmark is generally considered among global gender-equality spearhead nations. However, even superficial research reveals that, on most indicators, Denmark is outperformed by the rest of the Nordics and is consistently declining on international gender rankings year after year. As political will to intervene to halt this descent, or to progress equality further, has been limited during recent decades, responsibility to act falls on individual work organisations. But, how are organisations motivated to undertake initiatives to improve gender equality in a context that generally assumes that gender equality is already achieved, and which shows comparatively strong opposition to feminism and feminist action? This dissertation explores organisational motivation to engage in gender equality through a multi-perspectival, qualitative-interpretivist research design. The purpose is to investigate motivation at various levels to see if we may think of it as something other or more than merely individual and personal; namely, as collective, organisational and/or societal. Assuming that organisational gender equality work is necessary for improving gender equality, a multi-level and perspectival understanding of motivation may prove invaluable, providing that work organisations, and Denmark more broadly, have an interest in improving gender equality. To study motivation as potentially something more than individual essentially means exploring it in context – a context which, in this dissertation, is construed as a ‘postfeminist gender regime’. The concept ‘postfeminism’ covers a set of prevalent discourses around gender, feminism and femininity, which are highly ambiguous because they are anchored in a simultaneous celebration and disavowal of feminism. Understanding the Danish context as a postfeminist gender regime brings to the fore that, despite significant transformations to gender relations in society, gender equality constitutes an unfinished project. Through its capacity to illuminate nuances and especially contradiction, postfeminism offers a lens, hitherto underutilised in the Danish setting, which may key in enabling us to progress with respect to persistent as well as emergent gender inequalities.
Effective start/end date01/02/201731/01/2020