Gender and Language, Vol 3, No 1 (2009)

Metaphorically speaking: Constructions of gender and career in the Danish financial sector

Lise-Lotte Holmgreen
Issued Date: 28 Aug 2009

Abstract


The Danish financial sector is one among many in Danish society in which the male occupation of managerial positions still predominates, with women tending to occupy lower-ranking jobs. Previous studies in this area have pointed to biological and cultural forces as determining factors in men's and women's unequal positions. However, this position has been partly rejected by recent research within socialconstructivism, which holds that in interaction men and women are positioned in certain ways due to dominant gendered discourses that can either be upheld or be negotiated through the adoption of gendered subject positions.
The article takes its starting point in this discussion, presenting an analysis of how in the pursuit of careers, men and women in the financial sector may metaphorically and discursively construct career possibilities and constraints, and with that the concepts of sex and gender. Furthermore, the article assesses the extent to which this construction may influence their chances of obtaining a managerial position.
The data for the analysis consist of three sets of focus group data obtained in a large Danish bank.

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DOI: 10.1558/genl.v3i1.1

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