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Studying 'unmanly': young Swedes

26 Mar 2012, 10:50

Published: 26 Mar 2012 10:50 GMT+02:00

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“The young male science students think they need other resources than what they will be graded on in school to be able to compete on the labour market – and that includes culturing an extensive social circle,” said Ann-Sofie Nyström, doctor of sociology, at Stockholm University, to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

Many are hoping to take up high powered employment as lawyers, doctors and engineers, but they are counting on getting into these programmes through something other than high grades, namely the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (Högskoleprovet).

Failing to get into the Swedish programmes that way, however, many plan to study abroad.

The study shows that there is a very complex interplay between the teacher and the male and female students in the classroom, based on the way “you are supposed to be” if you are a girl or a boy.

It is okay for girls to be ambitious and take their schoolwork seriously, whereas for the boys, it is important to be seen as smart, well-read and knowledgeable, but with minimal effort seemingly required.

According to Nyström there was also a discrepancy between how the boys described their studying in a one-to-one conversation compared to in a group setting.

“I am pretty sure that they played down their studies. Because it is important to know a lot, be clever and well-informed. That gives high status in the group, but it has to seem effortless,” she said to DN.

According to the study, the boys see themselves as high achievers but rate the social aspects--being popular, getting invited to parties, and winning arguments--as the key to getting top jobs.

Those students that focus on their studies are seen as less intelligent and unlikely to get hired.

The girls that were interviewed found the boys’ attitude naïve. They also see themselves as high achievers but believe that studying is what is important to get anywhere in science.

Story continues below…

TT/Rebecca Martin


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Your comments about this article

12:02 March 26, 2012 by gpafledthis
ODD the old viking motivating words/goals are declared no-no's for thelocal.se and it wipes your comments out !! Well back to purpose-that women think men naive!! DUH !! Solution?? seperate m/w(g/b) and offer up a girl(nubile) for academic excellence !!! OK-ready wipe me out again !!
12:02 March 26, 2012 by muscle
So True. this shows the pathetic hiring procedure followed by swedish organizations. Improper HR process is the biggest problem.
12:11 March 26, 2012 by gpafledthis
I made it !!! the R-L-P words are a NO-no for thelocal.se see how very deep you have SUNK !! I have this dream-that with warming-mosquitos will drive all swedes into the baltic !!
12:22 March 26, 2012 by Central European
Well, be honest if you are forced to speak with some nowadays " rocket scientst students", no matter if male or female, and you listen their mantra is I-KNOW-IT-ALL couse I´ve been focusing just on my studies, you have to be very carefull to hire such " single team" player to your team..... they are quite happy in solitary work, but their social skills are zero zero point nothing.

We have got one young mathematician to bank sales team , she was as clever as Nobel winner, but she was unable to speak with customers, even to pick up phone or to have a coffee with colleagues. She was fired from place in couple of weeks.

I´ve met couple of male and female like this, nice degrees, nice CVs in, smart as Einsteins, but no sense of humor, no sense of life, peculiar behaviors ... who ´d like to have somene like that in team ?
14:23 March 26, 2012 by skogsbo
what is to "culture", perhpas google translate meant "cultivate".

Either way, hardly news, boys learning differently to girls and mature a little slower. Anything we didn't know?
17:46 March 26, 2012 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts
So how do they expect to pass exams if they have no knowledge ?
18:08 March 26, 2012 by HYBRED
I thought "culture" was something that grew in a petri dish.

"According to the study, the boys see themselves as high achievers but rate the social aspects--being popular, getting invited to parties, and winning arguments--as the key to getting top jobs."

This reminds me of when I was young. If it was all true I would be CEO of at least 25 of the worlds largest companies. Oh well, at least I had a blast partying.=)
18:59 March 26, 2012 by skatty
One of those THE LOCAL English articles; which should be translated to English by Google!
20:48 March 26, 2012 by njalmagnus
I find this interesting because last week on the radio there was an interview talking about the fact when it comes to employment the youth of today have no social skills. They can't carry a conversation with clients / customers and they are generally lost in public situations. The interview concluded that young people need to spend less time alone studying / texting/ game playing, etc. and more time joining community groups and being involved in public activities that hone social skills.

It has already been pointed out that many of them are as smart as humans come but when it comes to interacting with other people they can't string two words together. I see this at work all the time.
23:15 March 26, 2012 by Max Reaver
Just excuses to party hard, nothing more. If you want to get a good job you need to study eventually. Because school subject is so easy in Sweden, you can afford not putting that much energy into it in middle school. However, by high school you must start working, because grades decide which university you end up after graduation. I know a friend who did party hard in his youth, but he racked up enough credits and merit to secure admittance into Stockholm School of Economics. After getting his bachelor in Industrial Economics he easily found job in McKinsey in Stockholm, and remained steadily with his post until today. So the thing is, due to the self-destructive school culture of Swedish youth, even if you are smart as Sheldon Cooper you must act more gangsta than Snoop Dogg. The dumb kids believe that being Snoop Dogg helps all the way through, and they end up as cleaners. The smart ones know when to revert to being Sheldon, and they are the ones with success stories.
00:16 March 27, 2012 by Dr. Dillner
And being on welfare is more, "manly"???
19:04 March 30, 2012 by tadchem
This may come as a surprise to the lads, but a career in science requires a degree from University. Their school chums from high school will be of little use to them. Their best bet is to get a science degree AND a business degree. The friends they make in business school will be most likely to be able to give them jobs later.
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