Pål Halvorsen and Jørn Ljunggren: A new generation of business masculinity? Privileged high school boys in a gender egalitarian context
In Gender and Education, 2020
Pål Halvorsen and Jørn Ljunggren
While gender equality and new softer masculinity ideals have gained prominence in the Nordic welfare states in recent decades, the top echelons of business seem to constitute a bulwark against these changes. Elite corporate culture preserves more traditional business masculinity ideals, both in terms of gender composition as well as in attitudes toward gender equality. This article analyzes if, and in what ways, central tenets from traditional business masculinities are upheld among the prospective male business leaders of tomorrow. By situating the interviews of young privileged boys within the contexts of both their renowned business high school and the strong gender equality ideals that exist in Norway, this article taps into a vital period of the construction of a ‘business masculinity’. The analyses show that, while softer masculinity traits are expressed when societal issues are at stake, the school context nonetheless seem to provide a ‘safe haven’ for traditional masculinity.