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Women in power: Sex differences in Swedish local elite networks

  • Christofer Edling
  • Gergei Farrkas
  • Jens Rydgren
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 21-40
Publication/Series: Acta Sociologica
Volume: 56
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: SAGE Publications

Abstract english

Women occupy a small minority of elite positions in contemporary society. In addition, the minority of women who gain access to influential elite positions are often assumed to have their actual influence circumscribed by mechanisms of marginalization. However, systematic evidence to support the latter view is relatively scarce. We apply social network analysis to study sex differences in local elite networks in Sweden, and show empirically that, despite the fact that women are the minority group across all elite dimensions, female elites uphold the same ‘structural status’ as male elites.


  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • social networks
  • sex differences
  • local elites
  • sociology
  • sociologi


  • ISSN: 0001-6993
Christofer Edling
E-mail: christofer [dot] edling [at] soc [dot] lu [dot] se


Faculty of Social Sciences

+46 46 222 88 62



Centre for Economic Demography




+46 46 222 88 62




I earned my PhD from Stockholm University in 1999. Between 2002 and 2005 I was Torgny Segerstedt Pro Futura Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study at Uppsala University. I received my Docent-title in 2003, and was appointed Associate Professor at Stockholm University in 2004. From 2006 to 2008 I was Head of the Department of Sociology at Stockholm university. Before coming to Lund in 2012 I served as Full Professor of Sociology at Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany. I have been a fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2004/05) and Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (2013).

Department of Sociology
Lund University
Visiting address: Sandgatan 11, House G, Lund
Postal address: Box 114 , SE-221 00 LUND, SWEDEN
Telephone: Student Office +46 46-222 88 44, Lund University Switchboard +46 46-222 00 00

Faculty of Social Sciences