Finding Fathers in Business : A Critical Discourse Analysis of Fatherhood Practices in the Swedish Business World

University essay from Lunds universitet/Europastudier

Abstract: This thesis sheds light on a particular group of men in Swedish society: fathers working in business. According to R.W. Connell’s theory, these men hold significant power as businesses become increasingly globalised. Moreover, Connell states, they are bearers of a new form of hegemonic masculinity: transnational business masculinity. This form of masculinity is characterised by a prioritisation of work and marginalisation of family life and stands in stark contrast to the Nordic gender equality model, which places emphasis on both parent’s participation in the care for their children. Using Critical Discourse Analysis, this thesis analyses articles from two major Swedish business magazines. The thesis investigates whether there is a discourse representing the values of transnational business masculinity, whether other discourses figure in a hierarchical relationship to this type of discourse and whether these discourses embody views of Nordic gender equality. Besides identifying a discourse representing transnational business masculinity, the thesis found four other discourses, which were called Work-life balance, Break, Investment and Equality. Though some discourses were more common than others, this thesis did not detect a hierarchical relationship. Rather, it observed several competing discourses, several ways of making meaning of paternity leave and fatherhood practices.

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