Gendered repertoires in nursing: New conceptualisations of educational gender segregation
Research on educational gender segregation has been mostly concerned with the lack of women in male-dominated educational fields, and only to a lesser degree with the shortage of men in female-dominated subjects. This article addresses the latter issue and introduces new theoretical tools to the research field of educational gender segregation. Building on in-depth interviews with male and female nursing students in Norway, the article illuminates processes that may contribute to gender inclusion and exclusion. Combining theory on cultural beliefs on gender, symbolic boundaries and repertoire theory, the article shows how the valued nursing competence of being caring – together with an operative cultural belief that women are more caring than men – provides the female students with an asset both when accounting for their educational choice and in demonstrating their suitability to be nurses. The article demonstrates the situational relevance of gender and the value of analysing accounts of gender within particular contexts.
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Myklebust, Runa Brandal