Inequality Regimes and Men's Positions in Social Work


Department of Sociology, Uppsala University, Box 624, SE 751 26 Uppsala, Sweden; e-mail:


The aim of this article is to contribute to the exploration of men's positions in professions numerically dominated by women through an in depth analysis of the gendering practices in groups of social workers. The empirical material consists of interviews with three work groups in Sweden, each with one man and several women as members. The analysis focuses upon gendering practices in the interview setting. It shows how the positions occupied by the men in the sample confirm or undermine constructions of masculinity as dominance. Furthermore, it is argued that to fully understand men's positions in these groups the analysis needs take other forms of inequality into account in addition to gender. It is shown that in the empirical cases under scrutiny men's positions are shaped by regimes of inequality where age and gender relations, as well as notions of professional experience, are interconnected.