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Publications (10 of 161) Show all publications
Escobar, K. & Ahl, H. (2024). Civil society initiatives for integrating refugees into Swedish society: Sustainable over time?. Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Civil society initiatives for integrating refugees into Swedish society: Sustainable over time?
2024 (English)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, 2024. p. 50
Series
Forskningsrapporter från Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation ; 29
National Category
International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-63291 (URN)978-91-88339-75-1 (ISBN)
Available from: 2024-01-10 Created: 2024-01-10 Last updated: 2024-01-10Bibliographically approved
Pettersson, K., Ahl, H., Berglund, K. & Tillmar, M. (2024). Paying lip service to gender inequality – EU rural development policy in Sweden. Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Paying lip service to gender inequality – EU rural development policy in Sweden
2024 (English)In: Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, ISSN 0966-369X, E-ISSN 1360-0524Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

While research has pointed to the lack of gender mainstreaming in rural and agricultural policy, how rural policy determines what is seen as problems of gender inequality in the first place and how it constructs men and women in relation to rural development remains unexplored. In this article we perform an in-depth analysis of how rural policy constructs gender inequality problems and gendered subjects. We employ the 'What's the problem represented to be' approach to analyse the implementation of the European Union's Rural Development Policy in one Swedish region, Jönköping County. We conclude that gender inequality is largely left unproblematic in relation to rural development, placing women in the subject position of being uninterested in rural development policy and lacking the ability to take it on. The focus on farmers and ICT broadband positions adult, Swedish-born men as the norm, reflecting a neoliberal emphasis on economic growth through competitive businesses. We also conclude that the policy twists 'gender mainstreaming' by claiming that it promotes gender equality, while it in fact takes no action. Paying lip service to gender equality rural policy thereby co-opts feminism, in line with a neoliberal 'postfeminist' discourse, which is harmful to the feminist project. Alternative approaches to gender inequalities suggest that there may be broader, and different, ways of discussing them in relation to rural development, making for a broader spectrum of problematisations and subject positions, which may, in turn, allow a transformation towards gender equality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2024
Keywords
CAP, gender, gender mainstreaming, RDP, rural policy, Sweden
National Category
Gender Studies Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-63597 (URN)10.1080/0966369X.2024.2312358 (DOI)HOA;;937543 (Local ID)HOA;;937543 (Archive number)HOA;;937543 (OAI)
Funder
The Kamprad Family Foundation, 20160060
Available from: 2024-02-14 Created: 2024-02-14 Last updated: 2024-02-14Bibliographically approved
Ahl, H. & Escobar, K. (2023). Civil society engagement in refugee integration: subject to prior learning and institutional constraints. In: L. G. Chova, C. G. Martínez & J. Lees (Ed.), ICERI2023: 16th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation: Conference proceedings. Paper presented at 16th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI), Sevilla, Nov 13-15, 2023. IATED Academy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Civil society engagement in refugee integration: subject to prior learning and institutional constraints
2023 (English)In: ICERI2023: 16th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation: Conference proceedings / [ed] L. G. Chova, C. G. Martínez & J. Lees, IATED Academy , 2023Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In a seminal article in education and neo-institutionalist theory, Meyer and Rowan (1977) proposed that organisations are subject to institutional constraints. These constraints must be met for organizations to be seen as legitimate and thereby secure resources, but meeting them may get in the way of the efficient execution of their core activities. Organizations solve it by “loose coupling”, i.e. they purportedly meet the formal requirements, yet go about their business as they see fit. In this study we follow a number of state-sponsored projects carried out by Swedish civil society organizations aimed at integrating refugees after the massive refugee wave in 2015. We interviewed churches, voluntary associations, social enterprises, immigrant associations and municipal projects. With the exception of immigrant associations, the regular, core activities of the interviewed organizations were not related to integration. We hypothesized that the organizations might turn to loose coupling – do whatever they found best, and report to the government what the government wanted to hear, and in so doing secure long terms funds and institutionalize integration activities in their organizations.

We found, however, that after a few years, most activities were discontinued. First, they were not only loosely coupled, but rather decoupled from the organization’s core activities. Projects were started by engaged individuals whose prior experience determined the content. Teachers arranged language training cafés, nurses initiated health projects, and those with industry experience arranged job interview training and internships. The documentation and reporting requirements from the government were difficult to meet, as they measured other things than what volunteers and participants valued as important. Continued funds could therefore not be secured. In lieu of funds, the activities were too decoupled form the organizations core activities to be integrated in their regular programs. So, instead of “efficient loose coupling” there was “inefficient decoupling”, and integration was not institutionalized.

There were two exceptions: One was the immigrant associations who did not rely on external funds and where integration was already a core activity. The other exception was a social enterprise who upon not securing continued funding started a new, independent company. It was financed by selling cleaning services provided by immigrant women who also received language training and other support. In so doing, the formal framework of the organization became perfectly aligned to the integration activities.

The lesson learned is that if the government wants to draw on the engagement of voluntary associations in the long term, programs and projects need to be aligned to the core activities of the associations, and evaluation criteria must be aligned to what volunteers and participants find meaningful. Theoretically, the study shows that there is a limit to loose coupling – the activities must be at least somewhat aligned to the formal organizational framework to be legitimate in the long term. We add the concept of “inefficient decoupling” to institutional theory. It explains when and why loose coupling does not work, and why inefficient decoupling, because of its inefficiency, may lead to the creation of a new formal organization which is able to house the desired activities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IATED Academy, 2023
Series
ICERI Proceedings, E-ISSN 2340-1095
Keywords
Integration, refugees, government programs, neo-institutional theory, prior learning
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-62761 (URN)10.21125/iceri.2023.0407 (DOI)978-84-09-55942-8 (ISBN)
Conference
16th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI), Sevilla, Nov 13-15, 2023
Available from: 2023-10-24 Created: 2023-10-24 Last updated: 2023-12-04Bibliographically approved
Escobar, K. & Ahl, H. (2023). Civilsamhällets insatser i spåren av flyktingvågen 2015: Hållbara över tid?. Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Civilsamhällets insatser i spåren av flyktingvågen 2015: Hållbara över tid?
2023 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Studien undersöker vilka integrationsbefrämjande aktiviteter som civilsamhället, ofta med stöd av projektpengar från staten, bedrev i spåren av flyktingkrisen 2015. Vi undersöker också om aktiviteterna fick ett långsiktigt fäste i civilsamhällets organisationer eller inte. Vi har intervjuat representanter för kyrkor, biståndsorganisationer, sociala företag, ideella föreningar, invandrarföreningar och några kommunala projekt. Vi fann ett starkt samband mellan enskilda medlemmars tidigare erfarenheter av integrationsfrågor och vilka aktiviteter de valde att satsa på. Lärare startade språkcaféer, vårdpersonal informerade om sjukvården, behandlingspedagoger startade hälsoprojekt och så vidare. Vi fann också att de flesta av insatserna har avslutats. Projektformen, med krav både på nytänkande och förutbestämda resultatmått ledde till kortsiktighet. De yttre kraven var inte förenliga med de arbetssätt och de resultatmått som både civilsamhällets aktörer och flyktingarna föredrog så projekten förnyades inte. Organisationerna kunde inte långsiktigt härbärgera aktiviteterna. Undantagen är de fall där man efter att ha lyssnat till målgruppens behov bildat en ny, formell organisation som kunde härbärgera de önskade aktiviteterna. Detsamma gäller för invandrarföreningarna som inte var beroende av projektpengar och som redan hade ”integration” inbyggt i organisationens syfte och verksamhet. Studien ger lärdomar för myndigheter om vikten av att forma utlysningar så att syfte och resultatmått är förenliga med vad både civilsamhällets aktörer och projektdeltagare finner meningsfullt.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, 2023. p. 67
Series
Forskningsrapporter från Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation ; 026
National Category
Business Administration International Migration and Ethnic Relations
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-61435 (URN)978-91-88339-60-7 (ISBN)978-91-88339-61-4 (ISBN)
Available from: 2023-06-21 Created: 2023-06-21 Last updated: 2023-06-21
Berglund, K., Ahl, H., Pettersson, K. & Tillmar, M. (2023). Conceptualising feminist resistance in the postfeminist terrain. Gender in Management, 38(2), 183-199
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conceptualising feminist resistance in the postfeminist terrain
2023 (English)In: Gender in Management, ISSN 1754-2413, E-ISSN 1754-2421, Vol. 38, no 2, p. 183-199Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

In this paper, women entrepreneurs are seen as leaders and women leaders as entrepreneurial, making both groups an easy target of postfeminist expectations, governed by calls to embody the entrepreneurial self. Acknowledging that the entrepreneurial self has its roots in the universal, rational and autonomous subject, which was shaped in a male form during the Enlightenment, the purpose of this study is to conceptualise feminist resistance as a process through which the autonomous subject can be de-stabilised.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirically, this study draws on an extensive research project on women’s rural entrepreneurship that includes 32 in-depth interviews with women entrepreneurs in rural Sweden. This study interpreted expressions of resistance from the women by using an analytical framework the authors developed based on Jonna Bornemark’s philosophical treatise.

Findings

Feminist resistance unfolds as an interactive and iterative learning process where the subject recognises their voice, strengthens their voice and beliefs in a relational process and finally sees themselves as a fully fledged actor who finds ways to overcome obstacles that get in their way. Conceptualising resistance as a learning process stands in sharp contrast to the idea of resistance as enacted by the autonomous self.

Research limitations/implications

This study helps researchers to understand that what they may have seen as a sign of weakness among women, is instead a sign of strength: it is a first step in learning resistance that may help women create a life different from that prescribed by the postfeminist discourse. In this way, researchers can avoid reproducing women as “weak and inadequate”.

Originality/value

Through the re-writing of feminist resistance, the masculine entrepreneurship discourse including the notion of the autonomous self is challenged, and a counternarrative to the postfeminist entrepreneurial woman is developed. Theorising resistance as a learning practice enables a more transforming research agenda, making it possible to see women as resisting postfeminist expectations of endless competition with themselves and others.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2023
Keywords
Postfeminism, Autonomous self, Intellectus, Learning resistance, Neoliberalism
National Category
Business Administration Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-58969 (URN)10.1108/GM-06-2022-0217 (DOI)000888301400001 ()2-s2.0-85142359514 (Scopus ID)HOA;;843140 (Local ID)HOA;;843140 (Archive number)HOA;;843140 (OAI)
Funder
The Kamprad Family Foundation, 20160060
Available from: 2022-11-23 Created: 2022-11-23 Last updated: 2023-03-30Bibliographically approved
Ahl, H., Tillmar, M., Berglund, K. & Pettersson, K. (2023). Entrepreneurship as a losing proposition for women: Gendered outcomes of neo-liberal entrepreneurship policy in a nordic welfare state. In: C. Henry, S. Coleman, and K. Lewis (Ed.), Women's Entrepreneurship Policy: A Global Perspective (pp. 75-102). Edward Elgar Publishing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Entrepreneurship as a losing proposition for women: Gendered outcomes of neo-liberal entrepreneurship policy in a nordic welfare state
2023 (English)In: Women's Entrepreneurship Policy: A Global Perspective / [ed] C. Henry, S. Coleman, and K. Lewis, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2023, p. 75-102Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Edward Elgar Publishing, 2023
Keywords
Women's entrepreneurship, Public policy, Welfare state retrenchment, Privatization, Marketization, Gender
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-62211 (URN)10.4337/9781800374652.00012 (DOI)2-s2.0-85165084665 (Scopus ID)9781800374645 (ISBN)9781800374652 (ISBN)
Available from: 2023-08-18 Created: 2023-08-18 Last updated: 2024-01-24Bibliographically approved
Markowska, M., Ahl, H. & Naldi, L. (2023). Fix the structures, not the women: The case for norm critical entrepreneurship education. In: A. C. Corbett, L. D. Marino & G. A. Alsos (Ed.), The age of entrepreneurship education research: Evolution and future (pp. 51-63). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fix the structures, not the women: The case for norm critical entrepreneurship education
2023 (English)In: The age of entrepreneurship education research: Evolution and future / [ed] A. C. Corbett, L. D. Marino & G. A. Alsos, Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2023, p. 51-63Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this chapter, the authors argue that entrepreneurship education (EE) as currently conceived, does little to eradicate gender inequality – rather, its focus on the individual and its neglect of structural impediments and measures tend to reinforce this inequality. The authors discuss why this happens and suggest ways forward. The authors believe the most positive action would be to employ legislation and public policy to change gendered structures and practices which would lead to changes in gendered norms. However, the relationship between norms and structures is mutual. Structural change can only be achieved if existing norms are questioned and this should be the first step toward changing discriminatory structures. The authors argue that in this context EE must include norm critical education. The authors provide some practical examples related to the context of EE.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2023
Series
Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth ; 23
Keywords
Entrepreneurship education; gender norms; norm critical education; gendered structures; women entrepreneurs; gender inequality
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-60134 (URN)10.1108/S1074-754020230000023004 (DOI)978-1-83753-057-1 (ISBN)978-1-83753-056-4 (ISBN)978-1-83753-058-8 (ISBN)
Available from: 2023-04-12 Created: 2023-04-12 Last updated: 2023-04-12Bibliographically approved
Berglund, K., Ahl, H., Tillmar, M. & Pettersson, K. (2023). Genusperspektiv på entreprenörskap: från kvinnors företagande till feministisk aktivism. Organisation & Samhälle (1), 12-15
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Genusperspektiv på entreprenörskap: från kvinnors företagande till feministisk aktivism
2023 (Swedish)In: Organisation & Samhälle, ISSN 2001-9114, E-ISSN 2002-0287, no 1, p. 12-15Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [sv]

Från inledningen: Den internationella forskningen om kvinnors företagande tog fart i början av 1990-talet. Redan 1989 publicerade pionjärerna Elisabeth Sundin och Carin Holmquist den svenska studien Kvinnor som företagare: Osynlighet, mångfald, anpassning. Studien banade väg för en livaktig svensk forskning inom ämnet. I början handlade forskningen om att visa att kvinnor som företagare faktiskt finns. Trots att kvinnor sedan många år utgjort ungefär en tredjedel av alla företagare så ansågs och anses fortfarande företagare vara män. I ett senare skede fokuserade forskningen på villkoren för företag drivna av kvinnor. Många studier visade till exempel att kvinnor har svårare att få finansiering för sina verksamheter än män. Det kan bero på direkt diskriminering, men också på att kvinnor är verksamma i feminint kodade branscher som exempelvis detaljhandel eller personlig service. I dessa branscher har man sällan stora tillgångar som kan ställas som säkerhet för ett lån. Branscherna är också arbetskraftsintensiva, vilket gör det svårare att uppnå skalfördelar och hög lönsamhet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Föreningen Företagsekonomi i Sverige, 2023
National Category
Business Administration Gender Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-61366 (URN)POA;;105314 (Local ID)POA;;105314 (Archive number)POA;;105314 (OAI)
Note

Publicerad online 23 mars 2023.

Available from: 2023-06-20 Created: 2023-06-20 Last updated: 2023-08-30Bibliographically approved
Rugina, S. & Ahl, H. (2023). How research positions Central and Eastern European women entrepreneurs: A 30-year discourse analysis. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 35(3-4), 241-263
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How research positions Central and Eastern European women entrepreneurs: A 30-year discourse analysis
2023 (English)In: Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, ISSN 0898-5626, E-ISSN 1464-5114, Vol. 35, no 3-4, p. 241-263Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper analyses how research on women's entrepreneurship conducted in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) constructs and positions women entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship was illegal under the socialist regimes that governed this area and only began to develop after independence was obtained in the early 1990s. Consequently, research on entrepreneurship, including women's entrepreneurship, is somewhat new to the region. Our discourse analysis of existing research in this area reveals that, despite different historical pathways towards entrepreneurship, normative premises that exist in Western studies on women's entrepreneurship also prevail in scholarship produced in CEE. These normative premises impose dominant constructs and methodologies on entrepreneurship policy and the scholarly community. The discourse analysis identified five positioning constructs of women entrepreneurs, all of which stem from the assumption that women are (essentially) inadequately equipped for entrepreneurship. We discuss the discursive practices that produce these results and suggest ways forward for research on women's entrepreneurship in CEE.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2023
Keywords
Discourse analyses; woman entrepreneur; transition economies; Central and Eastern Europe; literature review; Michel Foucault
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-59433 (URN)10.1080/08985626.2023.2170472 (DOI)000919950700001 ()2-s2.0-85147206954 (Scopus ID)HOA;intsam;857285 (Local ID)HOA;intsam;857285 (Archive number)HOA;intsam;857285 (OAI)
Available from: 2023-01-24 Created: 2023-01-24 Last updated: 2023-03-09Bibliographically approved
Nilsson, M., Escobar, K. & Ahl, H. (2023). Labour market integration of refugees in Sweden: Analysing the interactions of CSOs at different levels. Journal of ethnic and migration studies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Labour market integration of refugees in Sweden: Analysing the interactions of CSOs at different levels
2023 (English)In: Journal of ethnic and migration studies, ISSN 1369-183X, E-ISSN 1469-9451Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

There has been a gap in knowledge regarding how civil society organisations (CSOs) interact at different levels when working to integrate refugees into the labour market—its causes and limitations. To contribute to filling the gap, this study employs both a rational choice perspective and sociological institutionalism to analyse how and why CSOs in Jönköping municipality in Sweden interacted with other relevant actors, both other CSOs (horizontally) and the public sector (vertically), to integrate refugees into the labour market after the refugee crisis in 2015 and what challenges they faced. It analyses different forms of interaction, that is, not only the relationship between the state and the civil society but also the one between different civil society organisations, which brings a new analytical dimension to the concept of coproduction to support refugees. By analysing the organisations’ interactions at different levels, the study identifies four themes: Striving to be flexible and service-minded organisations; between rational choice and institutionalisation of horizontal interactions; obstacles to horizontal interactions; and difficulty of measuring goal attainment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2023
Keywords
refugees, Sweden, labour market integration, rational choice, sociological institutionalism
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-62006 (URN)10.1080/1369183X.2023.2235900 (DOI)001025217200001 ()2-s2.0-85165239010 (Scopus ID)HOA;;1782609 (Local ID)HOA;;1782609 (Archive number)HOA;;1782609 (OAI)
Available from: 2023-07-14 Created: 2023-07-14 Last updated: 2023-08-16
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-9367-7472

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