The same and the other: Male childcare workers managing identity dissonance

Item Type Journal paper

As childcare workers, men are in a contested position. On the one hand, they are in danger of being depicted as the pedophile; on the other, they are expected to bring something new and innovative to the thus-far female-dominated field. These men are experiencing ‘identity dissonance' and have to find ways to manage and facilitate legitimate subject positions as both childcare workers and as men. Applying a perspective of discursive positioning, this article discusses men's positioning practices in nine qualitative interviews conducted with male childcare workers in German-speaking Switzerland. We identified a total of six discursive practices that men engage in to manage identity dissonance and construct a legitimate subject position. We found that men are engaging in a greater variety of practices than have been discussed so far. Unlike findings from other studies of men in female-dominated occupations, ours do not point to a clear-cut typology with regards to hegemonic and alternative masculinities; instead they show a variety of practices that are mobilized throughout all interviews.


Authors Nentwich, Julia C.; Poppen, Wiebke; Schälin, Stefanie & Vogt, Franziska
Research Team Alexandria Link Publikationen
Projects Nentwich, Julia C.; Vogt, Franziska; Poppen, Wiebke & Schälin, Stefanie (2010) Puppenstuben, Bauecken und Waldtage: (Un)doing gender in Kinderkrippen [fundamental research project] Official URL
Tennhoff, Wiebke; Nentwich, Julia C. & Vogt, Franziska (2014) Gender in der Kita: Veränderungen zur Inklusion von Männern gemeinsam gestalten [applied research project] Official URL
Journal or Publication Title IRS, International Review of Sociology
Language English
Keywords masculinities; doing gender; early childhood education; discourse analysis; subject positioning
Subjects social sciences
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SHSS - Kulturen, Institutionen, Maerkte (KIM)
Refereed Yes
Date July 2013
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of Publication London UK
Volume 23
Number 2
Page Range 325-344
Number of Pages 20
ISSN 0390-6701
Publisher DOI 10.1080/03906701.2013.804295
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Julia Nentwich
Date Deposited 07 Feb 2013 10:13
Last Modified 22 Jan 2020 13:25



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Nentwich, Julia C.; Poppen, Wiebke; Schälin, Stefanie & Vogt, Franziska (2013) The same and the other: Male childcare workers managing identity dissonance. IRS, International Review of Sociology, 23 (2). 325-344. ISSN 0390-6701

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