Slippage and/or symbolism: gender, policy and educational governance in Scotland and Sweden

Joan Forbes, Elisabet Ohrn, Gaby Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This article provides an overview and analysis of the relationship between gender, educational policy, and governance in Scotland and Sweden and the two countries’ response to European Union and global legislative and policy change. In Scotland, gender is mainly invisible in recent policies on inclusion, achievement beyond academic attainment, and the idealisation of the child. Gender is thus marginalised within a range of factors contributing to social in/equality. In Sweden, in contrast, gender has higher visibility in policy and governance as both an indicator of democracy and a means of preserving social democratic consensus and prosperity. However, recently its privileged position has come under attack. We draw on social capital, gender, and policy theory to analyse the range of influences on gender and educational governance in the two countries including that of the social capital of organised feminism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-776
Number of pages16
JournalGender and Education
Issue number6
Early online date27 May 2011
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • gender
  • social policy
  • education policy
  • educational governance
  • social capital
  • symbolic capital


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