Den moderne karrierekvinde: En systemteoretisk analyse af kvinden i spændingsfeltet mellem karriere og familie

Christina Lyk Mogensen & Nina Agerskov Myrlund

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The concept of the modern career woman is a seemingly new and – yes, modern – construction that seems to generate little harm and disturbance in the Danish society. Since women have been a part of the working force for many years, and are practicing their own career out there in society, the concept seems to be of no big surprise or significance to anyone. The master thesis investigates this seemingly harmless social phenomenon, namely the construction of the modern career woman through a systems theoretical approach, which enables an observation of the concept through the distinction career / family. The thesis asks the question; how is the concept of the ‘modern career woman’ constructing certain structures of expectations, and in which ways does this generate strat-egies for self-management? Through an elaborate historical empirical archive, it is concluded that the concept of the modern career woman, and the attached condensations, creates a structure of expectations that are available for communication to communicate by. Through qualitative interviews, the condensations are then translated into four different formations in communication, namely the modern career woman, the present career woman, the modern house wife and the family mother. These general constructions serve as both strategic analytical tools that guide observation, but more importantly they act as spe-cific powerful strategies that make one communicative behavior more likely to happen than the oth-er. It is concluded that the modern career woman is an expression of one out of many possible strate-gies for self-management that makes it probable for women to practice both motherhood and career at the same time. It is a hegemonic construction that is able to assert its position through a higher level of systemic reflection, that allow other systems to judge the other strategies in general, but the family mother in particular, as the unwanted alternative. The modern career woman is thus a strate-gy that serves as a societal watchdog that makes it improbable for women to choose only children, only career or even worse; both but with the social welfare system as a lifeline to help her balance the two. It is further commented how the strategy of the modern career woman is symptomatic of a society that values, urges and demands personal responsibility, self-development and positioning from their citizens - and in this case from the female citizens.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2015
Number of pages198