The same and the other: Male childcare workers managing identity dissonance
IRS, International Review of Sociology
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.
early childhood education
contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area
SHSS - Kulturen, Institutionen, Maerkte (KIM)
Taylor & Francis