Gender research is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field of research. Most of the research and teaching in Norway is carried out in traditional academic departments and institutions within humanities, social sciences and other fields such as technology and medicine.
Research that studies the implications of how gender is interpreted takes many shapes and names; women’s studies, feminist research, critical men’s studies, masculinity research, queer, gay and lesbian studies, research on gender equality and more. In Norway there has been a shift from the concept “women’s studies" established in the 1980s towards “women’s studies and gender research", or just “gender research". The shift has come with the changing focus from women as an oppressed group to gender as relational, constructed and culturally rooted.
For the sake of brevity the concept “gender research" will be used on this website and will cover a large and diverse field.
Gender research in Norway has traditionally been strong on subjects such as the labour market and the welfare state, family and care, health, violence, education and rural development. It is well represented in disciplines such as history, literature, sociology, pedagogy, medicine, law, theology and technology. The interdisciplinary approach has been important from the beginning, and today questions of ethnicity, sexuality, and race are crosscutting issues. Gender research is also a set of various theoretical, ethical and methodological topics.