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Frånvarande kvinnliga subjekt - en analys av medicinska texter om klimakteriet

  • Johanna Esseveld
  • Sara Eldén
Publishing year: 2002
Language: Swedish
Pages: 45-59
Publication/Series: Kvinnovetenskaplig tidskrift
Volume: 23
Issue: 2-3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Föreningen Kvinnovetenskaplig tidskrift

Abstract english

The article "Missing female subjects. An analysis of medical texts about menopause" focuses on medical discourses about women and middle age. More concretely, it presents an analysis of articles in Läkartidningen from 1990 through 2001. Läkartidningen is the official journal of the Swedish Medical Association and has a distribution of nearly 30 000 copies. The analysis is based upon three qualitative methods. We begin with a combination of content analysis and narrative analysis – focusing on what is being said and how it is being said – and continue with discourse analysis – focusing on what is being constructed. What we discovered is that the commonly used term ’middle age’ is here re-defined as menopause, and menopause is represented through a particular narrative where loss of fertility is followed by descriptions of problems and symptoms and where the medical profession offers solutions – foremost amongst these is the use of hormone treatment. At a discursive level, women are represented not as women but as ’woman’ – a body. This body is seen as a fixed, biological category which can be studied independently of how women may experience and reflect on their lives and their bodies. Women as active subjects embedded in complex social relations are made invisible in these texts, as are differences between women.


  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
  • kvinnliga subjekt
  • sociologiska institutionen
  • medicinsk diskurs
  • sociology
  • medelålder
  • sociologi


  • Gendered Identeties and Middle-Aged Bodies
  • Critical Perspectives in Sociology / Kritiska Studier i Sociologi-lup-obsolete
  • ISSN: 0348-8365
E-mail: johanna [dot] esseveld [at] soc [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emerita



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