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Managerial masculinity : an issue for wellbeing at work.: Reflections on the borderline between middle level management and fathering, using life-history method.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Public health science.
Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Uppsala University.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
2016 (English)In: Scientific Programme: Wellbeing at Work 2016, 2016Conference paper, Poster (Refereed)
Abstract [en]


In this paper we reflect on potential linkages within and between masculinity, management and wellbeing. The aim is to reveal the tensions in which technocratic managerial masculinity faces difficulties when combined with fathering and its consequences for wellbeing, both on individual- and family level.


Audio-recorded life-history interviews were conducted with employees, at three companies in Sweden during spring 2014. One of them was with a former manager, also a father, which is the subject of this paper. The tran-scribed interview formed the basis of an individual case study that was interpretive analyzed using a gender theoretic approach.


Managerial masculinity is revealed as obstacles such as hegemonic expectations of not being good enough which is emerging in contradictive situations between hospital visits and office deadlines. To cope with hege-monic masculinity displaced in a contradictive cornerstone the embodiment of thoughts, ideas and experien-ces became transformed into a wish to quit the leadership assignment, a process in which support from colle-agues, relatives and friends were recognized as important. The decision to quit was immediately followed by a relief, but over time became mixed-up with sorrowful feelings of lack. Looking back at the event makes a shift in value-system prominent: The informant’s self-understanding has been transformed from prioritizing level of sa-lary and the value of money to instead emphasize broader values in life expressed in terms of family wellbeing.


Through the tensions that emerge from ‘changing faces of masculinity’ the capacity to navigate life is reshaped. As long as hegemonic masculinity is taken for granted it is difficult to challenge and question it. But when ideas, experiences and feelings are transformed from a personal- to a cultural level they become possible to share with others: a process of exchange through which alternative ways of doing are crystallized. Personal experi-ences are thus transformed into collective possessions and given new meanings. We interpret the exchange of thoughts and ideas as expression of supportive interaction, shown to prompt new kinds of enactment in personal lives – thus a potential for wellbeing at work

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Environmental Health and Occupational Health
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-23058OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-23058DiVA: diva2:1056661
Wellbeing at Work 2016, 29 May -1 June 2016, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Available from: 2016-12-15 Created: 2016-12-15 Last updated: 2017-01-04Bibliographically approved

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