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Huynh, Samantha, 2017. From feminism to gender equality : exploring interpretations surrounding feminist energy policy in Sweden. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



There is a dominating image of Sweden as a gender-equal and environmentally friendly nation
with progressive policies. Since the Swedish Government has claimed to be feminist and that all
policies therefore must be feminist, including energy policy, in this thesis I have explored what
interpretations exist in regards to feminist energy policy because feminism and energy are two
areas that are rarely connected. The material for this study has been limited to three policy
documents and interviews with eight people who work with energy issues in different ways. For
my analysis I have used a Critical Discourse Analysis approach that is predominantly
influenced by Carol Bacchi and Norman Fairclough and in combination with Feminist theory
by Paulina de los Reyes, Sara Ahmed and bell hooks I have drawn the conclusion that feminism
and feminist energy policy have been reduced to gender equality and the quantitative
representation of women within the valued male-dominated energy sector. Furthermore,
feminist energy policy can be used as a tool to produce a sense of nation-pride and to confirm
the progressiveness of the Swedish welfare state. In a larger context, the interpretations of
feminism and feminist energy policy that I have identified operate within the dominating
discourse of neoliberalism and its agendas of marketization and labour exploitation, which
favour technological innovation as a means for international competitiveness and economic
(and “green”) growth. Thus, women are represented as being the problem, as choosing wrong
and as needing a push to choose “right” for both Sweden’s (economic) development and the
greater good of our natural environment. The identified simplistic views of feminist energy
policy and gender equality accept the premise, although not explicitly, that the group “women”
is a large homogenous group of white and middle-class women. This not only obscures the
struggles of those who fall outside of this description but also reproduces the notion that
inequality only exists between women and men. This study suggests that there is a lack of
intersectional perspectives to understand the complexity of inequality and marginalisation in
regards to energy policy in Sweden and that future research could take this into consideration.

Main title:From feminism to gender equality
Subtitle:exploring interpretations surrounding feminist energy policy in Sweden
Authors:Huynh, Samantha
Supervisor:Powell, Stina
Examiner:Westberg, Lotten
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2017
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:energy policy, Sweden, critical discourseanalysis, feminist theory, gender, race, diversity, intersectionality
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Agricultural economics and policies
Energy resources management
Deposited On:12 Sep 2017 09:32
Metadata Last Modified:12 Sep 2017 09:32

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