GENDERS IN EUROPE: A qualitative study on the construction of gender-neutral language - Sweden as an example

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: The visibility of individuals who advocate for and identify with genders outside the genderbinary has risen during recent years, but these individuals still face discrimination in many ways. With regard to this the European Commission launched a strategy in 2020 with focus on equal rights for LGBTIQ individuals with an indication that healthcare and gender-inclusive language are pivotal areas for strengthening equality and representation. Therefore, this thesis is aimed to examine the structure of gender-neutral language in medical and healthcare contexts, in regard to how different gender identities and pronouns are represented. Whether it is inclusive or not. With a delimitation to Sweden this was done through a qualitative discoursebased text analysis of ten articles from the healthcare sites 1177 Vårdguiden and UMO.se. Several theories from gender studies were applied to explain the current structure and composition of the gender-neutral language used in the articles. The result indicates that a gender-neutral language currently exists to the extant where neutral concepts as “person”, “your” and similar are used. However, it is not particularly inclusive regarding usage of different identities and pronouns.

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