Gender studies attempt to clarify the complexity underlying why people become the women and men that they are, and how the individual is formed in relation to society and culture - in the past as well as present.
The structures in society that mould people do not solely depend on sex/gender, but rather are created from a combination of, among other things gender, sexuality, ethnicity and class. Gender research has been able to clarify that the differences between women and men are often differences in power; men as a group live their lives benefiting from being men, while women as a group live their lives overcoming the opposition they encounter because they are women. The research also highlights that there are individual differences in power and influence between women themselves, and men themselves. A critical examination of power is included within a large part of gender research. This critical stance permeates gender research environments and creates a lot of debate within and outside the field.
Research in demand
Competency within gender research is being demanded in an increasing number of areas in society. Schools, media, public and private administration, county councils and others are realizing the importance of raising and discussing gender issues.
Umeå Centre for Gender Studies
Gender studies is a multidisciplinary field of research, and today research with a gender focus exists in all faculties at Umeå University. Umeå Centre for Gender Studies, UCGS, functions as a cumulative organization for all this research. The Swedish Research Council has named UCGS as one of the three leading gender research environments in Sweden.