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  • Lis Højgaard



Obtaining Power – power, gender and gendered actors in the political arena The gendering of politics in Denmark is no longer manifested in large differences in representation in important political positions or in unambiguous gender specific ways of doing politics or of climbing the political hierarchy. A discourse analysis of interviews with top male and female politicians shows that gender and political are woven together in multifarious ways, while revealing gendered patterns in discursive practices. There are no sharp differences in male and female politicians’ discourses on doing politics, on obtaining top positions in the political hierarchy or on gender and politics. Gendered patterns appear in the way male and female politicians combine discourses on how to get power and in their discourses on the meaning of gender in politics. The interviews revealed three discourses on how to get power: the fight, the party community and the personal stake. These represent distinct ways of characterizing the processes involved in becoming politically powerful. The interviews also revealed two main discourses on the meaning of gender: gender as an explicitly important dimension of political praxis, and gender as unimportant in relation to political praxis. The gendered agents combine these discourses in different ways, which opens different spaces of action and nego-tiation as well as different possibilities for positioning in the political field, possibilities that are reflected by a meta-discourse expressing processes of inclusion and exclusion in the field of politics.