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On-line version ISSN 2448-5799Print version ISSN 1405-1435

Convergencia vol.23 n.70 Toluca Jan./Apr. 2016


Scientific articles

The aims of higher education from gender perspective

Enrico Mora1 

Margot Pujal2 

1 Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, España.

2 Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, España.


We present the main results of the analysis of the discourses that professors and students (by sex) have elaborated upon a set of university degree courses at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). We analyze, from a gender perspective, what kind of care and provision relationships are referred in such discourses. We identified a shared understanding between professors and students, independently from sex and degree, which emphasizes the provision like main end of the subjects. The incorporation of the dimension of care at weekends appears as a secondary aspect.

Key words: university professor; university student; social action; care; provision.


Presentamos los principales resultados del análisis de los discursos que profesorado y alumnado (según sexo) han elaborado sobre los fines de un conjunto de asignaturas de titulaciones universitarias de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) (Catalunya, España). Analizamos, desde la perspectiva de género, qué tipo de relaciones de cuidado y de provisión remiten dichos discursos. Identificamos una concepción compartida entre profesorado y alumnado, independientemente del sexo y de la titulación, que pone el acento en la provisión como principal fin de las asignaturas. La incorporación de la dimensión del cuidado en los fines aparece como un elemento secundario.

Palabras clave: profesorado universitario; alumnado universitario; acción social; cuidado; provisión


In this article we present the main results of the analysis of the speeches that professors and students elaborate about the goals of a set of subjects related to university qualifications of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Catalonia, Spain. The main interest is to identify the kind of relations of care and provision these speeches refer to and what effects they have on the socialization activity of the university training.

The notions of care and provision have been, originally, developed to analyze from a feminist viewpoint, domestic production and the division of labor by gender. They constitute a nuclear aspect of research in the field of gender studies in recent decades (see, for example, Hochschild, 2012, 2008; Vega, 2009; Izquierdo, Mora and Duarte, 2008; Izquierdo, 2007; Torns et al., 2004; Ehrenreich and Hochschild, 2003; Fraise, 2000; Maruani et al., 2000; Sevenhuijsen, 2000; Setién, 1998; Bubeck, 1995; Jecker and Donnie, 1991).

We took these concepts to analyze one aspect of the academic activity of the teaching staff and university students and which are presented throughout this text. We ask ourselves what there is of gender (conceptualized in our research with the notions of care and provision) in the activities that we play as professors at university. At the same time, we identify what relationship exists with sex (conceptualized with categories as men and women).

In order to characterize care and provision from the point of view of the kind of relationships established by the teaching staff and the students in their interactions, we rely on the model of relationship regimes of Boltanski (2000), on the model of Bubeck (1995), one of the pioneers in conceptualizing the notion of care in the field of gender studies, and the adaptation that Izquierdo makes of it (2007), one of the pioneers in gender studies and sexism in the area of university in Spain, among other fields.

In the interactions women and men perform, relations of care and/or provision are configured. Care is a type of social relationship that is characterized by the action of meeting one person's needs by another individual, where the need cannot be met by the person who is the object of care. The provision is characterized by the predominance of things and the relationship between people and things. As a result of the sexual division of labor, caring activities have usually been carried out by women and provision by men, constituting the first ones as female activities and the latter as male activities.

On the basis of these premises attention is focused on a specific aspect of the university teaching activity: the analysis of the purposes of university training. This is a novel approach, due to the fact that the analysis of the relationship of care and provision has usually been carried out in the field of domestic work studies and the sexual division of labor. Likewise, the analysis of the university teaching activity has usually been done from the pedagogical perspectives, biased or not by gender, but not applying the notions of care and provision to the phenomenon under study.

Conceptual framework

In the last decade there has been a growing interest in the study of the impact of sexism and gender relations at university level. In spite of this, the issue is not new. The striking absence of women in the academic field, and especially in the scientific and technologic spheres, has been intensely identified and documented (Vázquez-Cupeiro, 2015; Rifà-Valls and Duarte, 2013; Duarte, 2012; Izquierdo, Leon and Mora, 2008; Fox, 2004, 1995; Izquierdo et al., 2004, 1999; Pérez and Andino, 2003; Rees, 2002; Fox and Stephan, 2001; ETAN, 2000; Clair, 1996; Ortiz and Becerra, 1996; Radl, 1996; González, Perez and Fernandez, 1995; Long and Fox, 1995; Van Verken and Hernandez, 1989; Pérez Sedeño et al., undated; Rossi, 1965).

It is a process that we can identify in a big part of the western world. Changes in the academic world in the last 50 years have gone from clear exclusion among professors and among students to an important incorporation of women in university, but characterized especially by segregation (Osborn et al., 2000) both horizontally (areas of knowledge) and vertically (the limited presence in positions of greater prestige and academic recognition, as well as in managerial positions in universities). The aforementioned changes are the ones currently occupying the agenda of research in the area of gender studies applied to university level.

Nowadays we have solid data on the processes of sex segregation identified. However, identifying sexism in order to explain gender relations in the West is not enough. Sexism is a process by which human beings are classified through a reductionist operation that involves taking one part, the organs of procreation, to represent the whole, the person. This process repeated through the resource to prejudice, stereotypes and models of action turns human beings into hierarchically classified beings, outlining the subjectivities and possible objectifying use of them.

The person is reduced to one of their characteristics, sex. This recognition of a human being as "woman" or as "man" has no other material foundation than the differences in primary sexual traits, those directly related to procreation (Izquierdo, 2001: 15). Such foundation is the first act of gender. With this, we mean that the 'construction' called "sex" is thus culturally constructed as gender. This is to say, following Butler (2001; 1990), we do not understand gender as the cultural interpretation of sex, as we understand that this is already a gendered category.

Not only should gender be seen as the cultural registration of meaning in a default sex, it must also designate the apparatus of production by means of which sexes are established. This means that gender is not to culture what sex is to nature. Gender is also the discursive means by which the "sexed nature" or "natural sex" is set and occurs as "pre-discursive", prior to the social (Butler, 2001).

Then, sex is not sensitive data, a physical trait that belongs to the natural order. The fact that penis, vagina, breasts... are called sexual parts is both a restriction of the erogenous body to such parts and a fragmentation of the body as a whole (Butler, 2001; 1990; Wittig, 1981). The "physical features" appear, in a way, to be there at the far end of language, not labeled by a social system. The "sex" imposes an artificial unity to a set of attributes that otherwise would be discontinuous (Wittig, 1977). And what links the construction of sexes in the "womanly" and "manly" is related with the reproduction of the species and the constitution of the heterosexual dictatorship. 1

The capacity of sexual response of the body is restricted by the institutionalization of discipline of the binary sexual difference. In this context, Wittig (1977) asked why we do not name our mouths, hands and anuses as sexual traits... The given answer is that we only call sexual those traits functional for the procreative activity.

Wittig does not intend to deny the existence of certain differences, which are obviously binary (as gendered individuals of a species). The intention is to answer to the social practice of valuing certain anatomical features as if they were defining not only of the anatomical sex, but also of the sexual subjectivity. Wittig points that there are other types of differences between people, differences in shape and size, the shape of the earlobes and the size of the nose.

However, when a baby is born we do not ask what kind of earlobes the baby has. We immediately ask for certain anatomical features sexually differentiated, because we assume that these traits will determine, in some way, the social destiny of that baby and that their destination, whatever it is, is built by a gender system based on the alleged naturalness of binary oppositions and, consequently, of heterosexuality. We do not discuss the existence of facticity of sexual distinctions, but we rather question the isolation and valorization of certain types of distinction above others (Butler, 1990).

This involves understanding sex as a way to occur for human beings with their own nature, and it is therefore incomprehensible if it is disassociated from the social practices that historically face, firstly, the reproduction of the species. The reproduction of the species and the heterosexual dictatorship go hand in hand, and the analysis of the linkages of these social processes provides explanatory keys of socio-genesis of sex and sexual as acts of gender. In fact, understanding sex and sexuality as something previous to the law is in itself the creation of the law (Butler, 2001: 107).

In this regard, being sexed means being subject to a series of social regulations and stating that the law rules such regulations as producers of sex, gender, pleasures, desires. The category sex is inevitably regulatory (Foucault, 1998), but a regulation that organizes inequality, discrimination and injustice.

In this framework, briefly outlined, we place the concepts of care and provision, as gender dimensions of the social link in general, and of the social action in particular. We believe that they can be useful analysis tools to expose the dynamics of gender relations and their effects; specifically, in this article we mention their use in a specific and focused field: university teaching through the analysis of the purposes of subjects. We want to help to guide the processes of change toward an equitable university, noting its foundations of gender for its mitigation.

To define the concepts of care and provision we consider, as we have pointed out, the proposal of Boltanski (2000). In earlier works (Mora and Leon, 2011; Mora and Pujal, 2010; Mora, 2006; 2005) we explained that the definition of each regime that Boltanski developed (2000) is related, according to our interpretation, with asking what place in each schema the following issues have, we presented them as axes of gender analysis of social action (relying on Hochschild, 2008; Orozco, 2007; Izquierdo, Mora and Duarte, 2008; Izquierdo, 2007; Ehrenreich and Hochschild, 2003; Mora, 2002; Thompsom, 2002; Butler, 2001; 1990; Dale and Jane, 2000; Sevenhuijsen, 2000; Setién, 1998; Jecker and Self, 1991 Bubeck, 1995; Wittig and Zeig, 1981): a) the needs of people; b) the achievement of the objective of action; c) the universal standards; d) objects in dispute; e) the existence or not of relationship between people and things in action through a universal principle of equivalence (establishing a scale of comparison), or by a principle of particularization in function of the person (responding to the specific needs of each).

From the standpoint of care, the objectives of actions are the only needs of the people, whose attainment is conditioned by their needs, up to the point that if complying with the aim was opposed to those needs in the implementation, it would make the action invalid in itself, modifying or annulling it. From standpoint of care, the rules that govern the actions are based on the needs of people and there are no universal standards, the context of interaction is characterized by the absence of objects in dispute or conflict.

As we understand care, we can identify two specific forms, depending on whether there is a relationship between people and things in the actions directed by care or not (interactions between people under the regime of care can involve people only, but also the relationship between people and things).

In the first type of care, people-centered, the action is aimed at the people's needs, as they are its objective, i.e., there is no other purpose than people and their needs. There is not a goal that was imposed, adapted or offered by third parties involved in the action. The objective is the person itself, their immediacy. In the second type of care, focused on things in function of the people, the action is aimed at the achievement of a goal (not the person), not derived directly from the people's needs and it is offered or adapted by a third party.

However, the relationship between person and thing is conditioned by the needs of the recipient of the action. The relationship between person and thing is not confrontational, there is no dispute, it is not problematic. If the relationship was represented as a problem, the orientation of the action would change to the regime of provision.

Once care was defined, we now have the task of defining provision, applying the axes previously mentioned. From the view of provision, the objectives of actions do not address the only needs of people, or if they do it is in instrumental terms. The achievement of the objective of action is blind to any consideration different from the objective itself. The objective is the goal. To do this, the achievement of the objective is based on universal norms or by force. From the view of provision, the context of the interaction is characterized by the presence of objects in dispute and competition.

As we understand provision, we can identify two specific forms, depending on whether there is a relationship between people and things or not in the actions oriented by provision (interactions between people under the regime of provision may involve things only, but also the relationship between people and things). In the first type of provision, centered in things, action is geared toward the achievement of an objective, blind to the people's needs, who are benefitted from the action.

The achievement of that objective, which is determined without taking recipient people into account, is prepended to the people's needs and they can even oppose to it. In spite of this, the action that is oriented to achieve it is carried out and is not amended, unless there are instrumental reasons that allow finally meeting that goal. The objective should be achieved at any cost, and the conflict involved in doing so is solved, in the last instance by means of violence.

In the second type of provision, centered on the equivalence between people and things, the action is geared toward the achievement of an objective conditioned by universal principles. Through these universal principles a comparative scale is set, or an order of the comparable, between individuals and things in such manner that the attainment of the goal is subject to certain criteria universally defined for the participants of a particular context of action.

These standards regulate the conflict implied in achieving the objective of the action with the aim of establishing a condition for its compliance. Seen from this type of provision, the achievement of the objectives cannot be achieved at any cost, since the achievement must conform to the universally established criteria. This conditionality of the achievement of the objective is not produced; therefore, as a result of the objective being in collision with the needs of the individuals but with universal norms, whose ultimate purpose is to regulate the conflict or disputes without resorting to the use of violence.

The relationship between people and things is conflicting and if it is resolved in such a way that it incorporates the needs of people in a consensual or stereotypical, it is no longer under the regime of provision and moves to the system of care.

A path to the analysis of care and provision in the context of the formation processes in higher education are the discourses that the teaching staff and students develop when questioned regarding their experience in university life. We analyzed the relations of care and provision, among the teaching staff and pupils, expressed in their speeches. It must be borne in mind that the same person can express, in the same discourse, components of care and provision, but what is the effect to express this variety of components in terms of an analysis that considers sex and gender as fundamental independent variables?

A starting point is to consider that the orientation toward care in university is a predominant feature of the activities of women and the female thesis works selected, and the provision is a predominant feature of the activities that men do and male thesis works. However, the evidence points at something different: the centrality of the achievement of the goal, the singling out, the universal norms, of objects in dispute in the orientation of activities between students and professors appear both in the speeches of male and female professors, and in the speeches of male and female students.

The differential element in terms of sex and gender is in the realization on the object they speak about. We cannot affirm generically that women take care and men provide in the formative activities of universities. At such level it probably occurs what in statistics is known as the zero-sum effect, where differences can fade away entirely when too much data is added. If we consider a greater level of detail, taking a look in contexts of individual action, such as the subjects and even more, when they talk about the goals of subjects, we can identify fundamental differences between women and men and between qualifications. In the formative activities in university, women and men chosen from all the degrees care and provide, but not in the same way, with varying strengths and experiencing it differently.

Method: production of data

We wrote this article based on the research "care and provision: the gender bias in university practices and its impact on the socialization function of university", directed by Dr. Maria Jesus Izquierdo and financed via an "I+D" competitive call from the Ministry of Equality/Institute of Women. The methodological perspective in which to enroll this research is feminist and qualitative. A research conducted from a feminist framework draws attention to issues such as the differences-inequalities and the questioning of social power relations between sexes and genders.

It also recovers the capacity to resist the traditional and sexist socio-scientific version; it is committed to political activism, social justice and democracy. The qualitative methodology allows us to understand the social phenomena through the meanings that participants provide. More specifically, we build a qualitative approach through the methodology of discourse analysis. The theoretical, epistemological foundations, and the technical characteristics of this methodology enable: understanding and interpreting the social reality and its discursive construction; gaining access to processes, actions, procedures and practices; analyzing the object of investigation in detail and specifically to identify the chains of meanings and actions that rule it.

The study focuses on the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and the fieldwork was completed in 2008. The fundamental criteria to select people to be interviewed have been, in regard to the position occupied in the university, teaching staff and students, according to sex and course (freshmen and seniors). In regard to the election of the set of programs studied, we have selected them on the basis of the position they occupy in relation with gender orientation. In order to do so, we have taken the definition of the curriculum of each qualification made by the academic authorities, as well as the composition according to the sex of teachers and students involved in the qualifications.

The first aspect allows us to classify qualifications according to their trained skills placing them in the categories care-provision, adhering to the conceptual framework outlined above. The second aspect refers to the situation of qualifications regarding the feminization-masculinization axis (degree of sexism). As indicative variables of the degree of masculinization or feminization of a qualification, we considered the percentage of women among professors and students (we believe that a qualification is feminized or masculinized if the students and teaching staff are composed of more than 60 percent of women or men, respectively).

The result, for the UAB in the period of the study, has been focused on the following qualifications: Teaching, Specialty in Child Education, Pedagogy, Labor Relations, Law, Technical Engineering in Computing Systems and Computer Engineering. The results presented derive from the implementation of a total of 45 in-depth interviews, 22 professors (11 women and 11 men), and 23 students (11 women and 12 men). We considered, as the main criterion for selection of both professors and students, that they were part of a core subject/compulsory of the qualifications listed, first and last course.

The decision of making in-depth interviews had as an objective to have the experience transmitted to researchers, through the conversation with the informants. This meeting reflects the objective of understanding the perspective that our informers have of their lives, experiences or situations, the meaning they have for their acts or experiences (Ruiz and Ispizua, 1989; Taylor and Bogdan, 2000). The interviews were recorded (with the permission of the interviewed) and transcribed literally, preserving the anonymity of the informers.

In terms of techniques of data analysis, we have chosen that of content and that of the critical discourse. The analysis of content intends to organize the information based on emergent categories of data interpretation (Vázquez, 1996), and was held at textual level (creating quotes and codes) and at conceptual level (elaboration of analysis to match conceptually quotes and codes).

In terms of the textual level, we divided the text in quotes and we encrypted it to facilitate the later recovery and reprocessing of the information with other levels of analysis. With regard to the conceptual level, we linked the emerging codes of the text with our theoretical framework, and at the same time we derived connectors, from the theoretical elaboration, to establish relations between analytical codes.

The discourse analysis seeks the identification of power relations among certain positions (Iñiguez, 2005). In particular, we applied the critical discourse analysis (Martin, 2003). This line conceives the discourse as a social practice, which calls into question its consideration as descriptive / representative practice (Potter and Wetherell, 1987; Parker, 1992). It points to the existence of a material extra discursive reality in which relations of power and domination are established and are partly reflected and shaped by the same speech.

The purpose of the subjects

From all the contexts where professors and students interact, the one that connects them par excellence is that of the subjects; it is where they have a more explicit relation. In general terms, the subjects would be the main area where one of the fundamental purposes of the university takes place: the academic education. In Article 4, Purposes (Statutes of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, 2003) this goal is set this in the following terms:

a) To practice the teaching of higher education, both in respect of knowledge and culture and, the specialized academic education and preparation for professional exercise, with a spirit of constant pursuit of quality and excellence. [...]

e) To participate in the improvement and development of the educational system. [...]

g) To promote critical thinking, entrepreneurial spirit and the culture of freedom and pluralism, as well as education in the civic and social values of a democratic society.

h) To disseminate culture through outreach and continuous training activities and over the life of people. [...]

Academic education is a main aspect of the university activity to devote four out of nine purposes that the statutes establish (the rest is dedicated to research, management and evaluation of quality, which is not reproduced in the quote), being the very first of them dedicated to teaching. From the formal point of view, the university expresses as a priority objective of its activity its educational function in cognitive terms: headings a) and b); but also ethical and moral: heading g) as well as to impact in the manner in which these objectives are carried out: heading e).

If these purposes are read according to the centrality of people and/or things which may be contained implicitly, and at risk of oversimplifying, all of the purposes would be particularly geared to point out the link between people and things as the object of teaching; they indicate a set of things that we could group in knowledge on quality, skills and social political values that are linked with people through two main principles which must serve the entire university community and in particular to the teaching staff and students: academic education in the professional activity and academic education in the ethics and moral integrity of people.

Therefore, we can interpret the orientation of the objectives of the university, in regard to academic education, in terms of provision centered on the equivalence of people and things, where the principles which allow linking people and things are, on the one hand, the professional opportunities of qualifications, and on the other hand, the academic education of people as democratic citizens and entrepreneurs, encouraging critical thinking.

Both principles work as universal principles, common to the entire university community, disregarding the extreme sides of the relations of care and provision - it is neither part of the priority and declared purposes of the university to meet the particular needs of individuals in it nor to subject people to the achievement, at all costs, of the objectives.

If we leave this institutional declarative level and enter in the restricted context of subjects, how are these purposes expressed? The question is relevant: why if we claim that it is the area of the formative activity par excellence in the university and the link between students and professors, the goals that the interviewed people associate with the subjects may indicate to what extent the relations deployed are thought in terms of care and/or provision.

We derived what type of goals, associated with academic education, are mentioned, from the information the interviewees expressed about the usefulness of the subjects, the training received, in terms of professional activity; the impact of training at a personal level and the expectations they had about the academic education at university.

Provision as a crosscutting dimension of the objectives of university education

By and large, the professors interviewed expressed a prospective conception of what can be expected from a subject. The subjects taught have, as a common objective, to contribute in giving a professional output to the students, to obtain an employment more easily, to develop a profession or even to establish their own business.

In this regard, there would be a striking consistency between the institutional goals, collected in the statutes of the university itself, and the more concrete discursive levels. This is not dogma or an institutional set point applied mechanically by the teaching staff but, it seems like evidence that meets the needs that the people, in this case the students, express and claim.

Hence, what gives meaning to the knowledge acquired is its adaptation to the labor market. And it is this principle that permits relating such knowledge with people. It responds to a principle that homogenizes the particularities: the market demands. This way of conceiving the purposes is the most transverse if we look at the sex, qualifications, types of qualifications (degree or diploma) and the group of people interviewed. On the other hand, having knowledge as an objective, or that knowledge responds to particular needs each student has in particular are sectorial objectives (we will later deal with it).

Q: Do you think it will be useful to your students?

R: The subject?

P: Yes.

R: Yes, it is essential. It is very useful.

Q: Why?

R: Well, first, the topic of networks, nowadays they have to know what is happening behind the machine. They connect to the Internet, the type of problems they can have when connected. People no longer have only one computer at home. You probably have your computer, your husband's, your son's, you already have a small network, you have to know everything going on, and in addition, during the practices we seek to introduce them in a last-generation language that they will probably use in the private sector. I am, I am super convinced that it is a subject that will help a lot.

Q: Why giving them a perspective?

R: Yes, because first you explain what is happening behind that machine connected to a cable, and that they have to know and understand when there are problems why these problems are happening.

Q: Mm.

R: Apart from that, that is the most theoretical part of the subject, in the practical part we make practices related to networks, but using programming languages that for sure, for sure, they will use in private companies, and they have not been taught before. We already know what has been done in other subjects, we look at what they do in other subjects not to...

P: [Cut] overlap, repeat.

R: Exactly. And they didn't know these languages and we decided to suit them to our practices for the students to study them, because they will arrive to the private sector. Right, perhaps they get distracted and they have not learned and they haven't assimilated everything, but they have learned many things, of course. It helps them to go much faster, and they are adapting to what they find in the private sector. Because in the end, what they have to know is where to look for the information, acquire the basic concepts that will help them to think and understand everything behind the subject.

(Reg. 495-506. Interview 19p: Professor in the last course of Technical Engineering in Computer Systems).

The interviewee links the content of the subject with the utility it has in the professional activity, especially its adequacy in the private company (which she appoints recursively). There is a latent principle to value things, it is to consider if a subject is essential or not depending on whether it is useful. But a utility defined in heteronomous terms, this to say, defined by appealing to external principles, outside the academic internal dynamics: market rules. It is from this objective that content and skills are organized in an efficient way to avoid overlaps or gaps in the set of subjects of the career.

However, it is worth considering if a priority attention to the adequacy of purposes of the subjects to the market implies locating on an exclusively prospective level. If we look only to the relationship between the purposes of the subjects and the needs that people expressly need to meet, it would seem that: the student appears as a future employee in a private company. But if we took off from this level, we can identify an effect that links this conception of the purposes with a closer concept to care.

In spite of the fact that the purposes are associated to the labor market, thereby some things are explained and others are not, some competencies are developed but not others, there is a paradoxical implication: setting the objective in preparing students for the labor market implies helping them develop the principle of reality and its autonomy, aspects closely linked with care practices. This would be an effect that in most of the speeches is not made explicit as a desired purpose.

Let us use the pun, there would be care through provision. It would seem, through their speeches, that professors propose a generic order, close to care, which is to respond to what students will lack, but its realization, paradoxically, is done by formulating attentive goals to principles of equivalence, in response to the market and not the single voices of each student.

As we have pointed out, the professional output is, at the same time, the common denominator with the conceptions that students express. In some way, each subject is evaluated by students in function of the degree to which it is appropriate to such principle. At this point, professors offer provision and it is what students expect, but a provision adjusted to principles of equivalence. The relations that are established in the course start from a generic guidance, a background, which is the achievement of the goal, but an objective subjected to the principle of professional requirements of the market, supported by the degree, which will offer greater opportunities and better conditions for work.

Q: What do you expect from university?

R: To be more prepared for the labor world than I am now, to acquire knowledge. And also, in part, to have a degree, because surely with the degree I will get paid much more than what I get now. That is what I believe.

(Reg. 11540-11541. Interview 17a: first course student of Technical Engineering in Computer Systems).

We do not know whether this is indeed the case, nor can we discard that what the interviewees express can be a way to legitimize the knowledge that is taught or learned (in the end, being able to evaluate up to what extent certain knowledge in particular is useful or not to work is something quite difficult to clarify and on which there is not enough empirical evidence). nevertheless, what matters here is to make it clear that what is expressed is a relationship subject to an instrumental rationality (it is a rationality that has increasingly colonized the world of education, as already pointed Curráis Porrúa and Pérez-Froiz, 1995; Schön, 1992; Contreras, 1990; Giroux, 1990).

The instrumental rationality the interviewees express is to assign the subjects in particular and the careers in general certain purposes, professional opportunities, as evident goals, as something that must be achieved just because. That is to say, virtually no person interviewed mentions why such goal must be pursued, why it is so important, why, in short, it is desirable (Horkheimer, 2002).

It is an obvious reality, stereotyped. In this sense the goals pursued are not subject to criticism, that is why the most common, widest, and most widespread goal among the interviewed people, irrespective of sex, certification and collective, is to contribute to provide professional opportunities, it is also the least reflective among those interviewed.

Within this instrumental relation, the teaching staff is forced to become a source of knowledge useful for the labor market and the students, receptors who demand it. This does not mean there is not an inkling of uncertainty around that objective, but when perceived as the previous paradox in terms of efficiency, is the goal achieved?

While studying their last course, students express a certain degree of uncertainty about what is to come after graduation. On the professors' side, even though they underscore how important it is to deliver useful knowledge, they know they are suspects of not doing so. Perhaps such a controversy that holds sway and disseminates the educational activity is better understood when no expectations are expressed around it, including professional opportunities.

A: What do I expect from my university...? Nothing, I expect nothing. Do you mean from the school?

A: Yes.

Q: No. I expect nothing.

Q: Can you be more specific?

A: No, I expect nothing from my school. I don't think any... Nobody will hold the door for you...OK, I get my degree, they give it to me, but the university doesn't, I expect nothing.

(Rec. 15977-15981. 3rd. interview, senior female student of the B.A. in Teaching, specialized in Pedagogy

And if someone does not expect anything from their university education, then what is there for them? It is important if a senior student makes this claim. Perhaps they are talking about a mourning process, the end of an era and the beginning of another, full of uncertainties that seem difficult to control. Maybe they point out at a change in position for them as a subject: from doors being opened for them to opening them for themselves, and along facing such dilemma, the abyss of nothingness.

From provision to care in the objectives of university education

Professional opportunities - the common denominator we have pointed out between professors and students -, gender does not clearly show to have an influence on qualifications or the group of people who talk about the topic. Things are different if we look at other stated objectives. The ones of the training activities focused on things and the people-centered ones are differentiated by sex, qualifications and the collective. The female professors involved in the degrees in Teaching, Pedagogy and Workplace Relations do not express any purpose focused on things and their goal; they would rather indicate people-centered objectives (besides those related to the professional opportunities, afore mentioned).

Q: Do you think this subject will be useful for your students?

A: I think it will be useful. My students sometimes do not know why it will be. I try, as I said before, to work different items. When my students arrive on the first day, I ask them what their expectations are and they tell me things related to their personal growth, to free speech, to scopes within the curriculum, etc. They face a subject (-) what I'm trying with them is that visual culture, its images and the disciplines belonging to art history, cultural studies, art education, and so on, enable them to work critically with images and understand visual environments, making childhood their key topic, right? I think this will be very useful for them as children's teachers; to be able to think about what type of images are good when working with children, because, you know, children's classrooms are very, very visual spaces, right? I also, intend to make them understand the area of Arts as a historically built section. I mean, I do not want them to teach the things they were taught. [My female students] are grown-ups, so I may have people who went to a nursery school twenty-five years ago, and they are willing to teach arts the way were taught back then, without understanding why, these types of practices belong to Franco's time curricula in arts before 1970's law, right? So, I devote the first part of the course, development of teacher's reasoning, to critically think about everything from a more cultural point of view, and from a more contemporary perspective of our teaching environment. It's hard for them to identify how good it is for them to do so, because I do not explain them things to be directly applicable in the classroom, I do not give them a recipe. It requires hard work. Then there is a lot of work to understand why it is important to develop critical thinking professors, why they have to prepare themselves too, and not only things about children. We also have to talk about them, right? I am talking about the girls because it is mostly a class of girls. That's why I say I have a very clear view of how it is good for them. Now, you are going to talk to them, and one of the evaluation methods is a personal interview, from which I have identified this doubt "Everything has been very interesting, but how is it going to help us as professors? Right? (-) They go through it, huh? In the end, the course continues, but obviously, we move back and forth on this dilemma. "

(Rec. 3874-3877 Interview 1p, First-year teacher of the B.A. in Teaching, specialized in Early Childhood Education).

Beyond the references to the professional utility of the aforementioned subject in this fragment, we can identify some hot spots when she points out she wants to train her students as such and not only to teach them things about the purpose of the subject, which are girls and boys. It looks like the aim of the course is to include students as part of the content.

It is not just to know about certain issues on art education, but also to develop a discourse that affects them. We do not know up to what extent singularization affects the contents, but we can say that becoming singular in every student is a part of the contents. This willing to singularize is manifested in the fact that the professor we refer to performs oral exams.

Perhaps we could say that care appears in the program, within the will to impact student's mind. Perhaps it is expressed as a goal, to influence the moral foundation of the female students, and this aspect is not expressed in male students obtaining a degree. Likewise, this goal seems to generate some kind of tension or conflict with the students, which makes it mandatory to be explained and discussed, showing that what is defined as a need by the professors does not necessarily coincide with students' demands.

From the type of relationship that is targeted, it would move away from an instrumental rationality of the goals. It would seem that people-centered purposes would not be linked to a given conception taken for granted. It would be necessary to explain why they are desirable and therefore, possibly criticized. In this sense, it would seem that this kind of goal is something neither expected nor obvious in university. Another way to introduce the goals to people and their needs is pointing out the kind of needs the course may help to meet:

Q: Do you think it will be helpful for your female and male students?

A: I do think so. I think it will. Being useful is one thing, that they like it is a different thing.

Q: Got you! (Ja, ja)

A: (Ja) It happens to all of us with the subjects we study. But the first day I always tell them that social security is something that accompanies us throughout our lives. Calculating a benefit ... a family member will ask how he is going to retire and how much he will get, or they will come up with the idea if they become unemployed at some point, how much they will get and whether they are entitled to unemployment assistance. So it shows a practical perspective. It is a subject that will always chase us. Then, some of it is more fun, some other part is more boring, but useful for sure.

(Rec. 1195-1198 Interview 11p: female teacher of the last course of Labor Relations).

How useful it is? It is shown in the kind of attention you can give to the people next to you and to oneself (expressed by means of examples), when you can deal with their concerns and help them. But in this case, care consists in placing knowledge, Social Security, focused on people. The goals of the course expressed in this quotation do not consist in learning the subject matter itself, or getting a professional career, but helping a family and oneself, the interviewee states, and therefore introduces the way that gives meaning to the subject, the singularization on the needs of people who are particularly important for students.

On the other hand, apart from the purposes related to the professional career (previously mentioned) Law, Technical Engineering in Computing Systems and Computer Engineering professors indicate that goals have to focus on valuable core knowledge concepts rather than on people-centered ones, under the expression of an instrumental rationality that is not subjected to criticizing these purposes (something common among professors).

A: Let's see, I tell you what I expect from them. That they learn how to fight using these tools is a little superficial; but to learn how to do research on the web to troubleshoot when necessary. Let's see, it is oriented to people who want to program. If you become a manager, it does not apply to you any longer; but it is on you how to fix computer problems, along the programming process of developing software.

(Rec. 1478. Interview 23p: female Professor of the last course of Computer Engineering).

The professor's aim is to ensure that female and male students know how to solve technical problems. Problems understood as things they confront, as a force of nature that has to be subdued, even using violence; in this case, a computer-like nature which must be tamed.

This way, in terms of goals, the female professors close to "womanly" degrees meet the role that is socially assigned and expected from them as a gender by minding about people. Whereas, in the female professors close to "manly" degrees the expectation is to adopt thing-centered goals, by focusing on content learning.

This would seem to point out that the gender of a degree would be more influential than sex on professors, to the point to discipline professors in the gender of the degree. But is this true for the professors? In this case it is not clearly obvious. Law, Technical Engineering in Computing Systems and Computer Engineering professors meet the expectation of gender assigned to their sex when they adopt goals focused on things (besides those related to a professional career, previously mentioned).

Q: What skills do you think the students acquire in this subject?

A: Basically, they get to know the mechanics, the structure, but especially the practical functionality of the process. To know how a civil or a criminal proceeding develops, according to their characteristics. What a man has to do with a bill of exchange. What procedure should be chosen and how the process works.

Q: Besides knowledge, what skills do they develop or put into practice?

A: None at first. Simply getting to know how it works, which is the inconvenient, the tails of the coin, the downside of what I was talking about: it is a very practical and without theoretical neither explanatory nor excessive philosophical foundations. Even introducing many elements of what is called sociology of law, not about how law should work, but how it works in practice.

Q: Then, they aren't strategies learned, ways to...?

A: No.

Q: It is information that later doesn't imply any specific skill.

A: Exactly. This is left for other subjects to handle. For example, there is a practicum, where it is developed. We simply explain how the process and legal texts work, how to understand them, jurisprudence in general.

(Rec. 4172-4179 Interview 16p: professor of the last course of Law).

The interviewee focuses on the objective of learning and acquiring knowledge and information, to the point of saying that everything related to learning skills would be covered in other subjects. The emphasis on the goal of learning the structure and process of the legal procedure strictly in terms of a thing is expressed, even considering those involved in the process as things.

The man thus expressed that the example is not a person whose particular needs have to be met, but it is one more piece of the procedural mechanics that must be learned and located in place. This should not make us believe that all the objectives of the subjects focused on things refer exclusively to learning the content itself. In some cases, a nuance that further reinforces the priority of such objectives is introduced. Apart from the idea of providing knowledge and information, it is proposed to change the concept that students have of the content to learn.

For example, in the case of Informatics, this goal consists in moving from a particular conception of informatics as a singular user (there are so many possible uses and interests as there are people), to a scientific and technological concept, characterized by standardization and shared rationality, an expected goal when studying Computer Engineering. This goal is an objective of procedural nature that aims to move students from particular to general bases.

Therefore, it is an objective that seeks to group together students, probably as a counterweight to a specific type of students whose pre-university knowledge has been formed in response to personal needs, being partial, particular, and limited knowledge by definition. The importance given to this objective by the interviewee can be seen in the price he is willing to pay, the loss and demotivation of students.

It is different for those degrees closest to the feminine. Those interviewed, involved in these careers, expressed objectives related to both, care and provision relations, unlike the male ones in which, except for one case, all the goals expressed refer to provision relations.

In this sense, it would seem that the feminine degrees do not have the same impact on men as the masculine have on women. In other words, discipline would not be the same, to the point that in the case of female professors, it seems to be due primarily to the gender of the degrees in terms of training purposes, with little difference if it is a diploma or a degree; while for male professors, it would be the imperatives of their own gender.

In the case of female professors, if they express thing-based goals, they do so, daring to oversimplify because they characterize the degree. If male professors do the same, it is something that characterizes the gender position of men. One possible interpretation is to understand that gender in most university educational activities is masculine.

Simpson (2004) has explained something similar in her analysis of men working in female areas and of women working in male fields. In this case a symmetrical situation does not occur. She points out that men are welcomed in female areas and are expected to act like men (implicitly recognizing their qualities are needed in the profession); while women are neither welcomed nor expected to act womanly (implicitly recognizing their qualities are not necessary in the profession). Summarizing: men build up their masculinity, women are masculinized.

Hence, in general terms, the difference between feminine and masculine degrees is that female professors do not always express objectives linked to care, only in those degrees closest to the feminine. Meanwhile, male professors always express objectives linked to provision in all degrees. However, there are two nuances that limit this general conclusion. The first refers to feminine degrees; a male professor includes an objective focused on people, which -in this indicated general framework- would transgress the conception of the objectives associated with their sex.

Q: Well, do you think that what you teach is useful for your students?

A: I do, but at two levels. I always tell them there are things that are helpful in the profession and things that are good for life. And considering the field in which we work, both levels are due.

Q: And, Why will it be useful?

A: It will be useful in their lives because, when you talk about communication, you talk about knowledge; when you talk about aspects of basic anthropology, you're talking about things that affect these individuals' personal relationships, their capabilities to interpret things, to understand human relationships... and well, all of that affects what's personal, of course.

Q: What about their professional life?

A: Professionally, it is just the same, because of course, as we are saying, it helps you to understand your own responses, reactions, and the ones from others. It is nothing more than creating a shared emotional field, in which you may influence the others, being respectful at all times, of course. But it is not an aspect of technology applied to a specific case, right?

(Rec. 3635-3640 Interview 6p: first year professor of Pedagogy).

All in all, not only the importance of contributing to the students' degree is noted, but also the importance of impacting each person, and thus trying to singularize the learning process, adapting it to the characteristics and needs of each female student while influencing their personal lives. The second nuance refers to male qualifications: a female professor includes an objective focused on things, in terms of people. So, in the framework we have pointed out it would transgress the provision ​​conception of the objectives linked to the gender of the degree where this female professor teaches, and does so in an indirect way, through an example that mentions in her story.

Q: And, do you thing the subject will be useful for your students?

A: Yes, I absolutely do!

Q: Why do you think so?

A: Because a computer engineer must know ... I mean, it is not only about designing algorithms, but if you want to solve a problem with a computer, you must know how to break it down into sub-problems, then structure and analyze them. You must identify the pros and cons, what may happen around them... and all of this is covered in the subject. In other words, let's consider a problem we have... I don't know...let's say there is a hospital there, with God knows how many doctors and patients coming in, and you have to analyze how to arrange the patient's lists, trying that all of the doctors sort them out, and you want patients to be arranged in short queues... from here, you must analyze the data arrangement you want to use, what problems may occur. For instance, it is necessary to have a list for the incoming-patients queues to know if they are empty, which one is the most crowded... if there are more or fewer doctors available in every queue, or we may add more doctors or patients in any line in a flexible way...

(Rec. 2024-2027 Reg. 21p. Female professor of the first course of Computing Engineering).

What hits the eye in this quote is the goal of the subject, to solve problems. The main aspect of it is the thing. And the resources to solve the problems are basically cognitive. However, the point here is shown up when the interviewee sets a situation in which people are not treated as mere things. The orientation to the thing is qualified for a final, fuzzy purpose, which is not necessarily a part of the resources to solve the problem: the wellbeing of people queuing, expressed through the avoidance of waiting beyond the necessary. Although it is a hue, it should be highlighted because it is outstanding in the speech of those closest to masculine degrees.

In the case of students, things are different. It should be noted that for this group we have limited data that might be explained by the effects of sexism at university, which even reaches the sphere of research. Students of the degrees analyzed are set in a sexist way. This has affected the possibility of performing structured interviews to every group of students to the point of not being able to find neither male students in the Teaching and Pedagogy degree willing to be interviewed, nor female students from Computing Engineering and Technical Engineering in Informatics Engineering.

This absence was balanced by increasing the number of interviews to students of Teaching and Pedagogy, as well as the ones of Technical Engineering of Computer Systems and Computing Engineering. The consequences of such decision are that our interpretations on the degree's gender impact, in terms of the students' objectives and the subject-context care and provision relations, are limited.

As mentioned previously, obtaining a degree is one of the objectives they claim for and expect to achieve through a university and its subjects. In this sense, they are oriented toward provision, basically considering professors as suppliers. Along with this, obtaining the degree expresses another level of provision, in this case it is more generic, and it would correspond to the credentialist dimension of our society and implicitly linked to labor market or performance through profession.

We cannot identify significant differences between female and male students when defining the objectives linked to academic training in terms of care and provision, but some nuances. As for the objectives centered on things, the female students expressed the executive aspect of achievement, meaning, achieving the goal, in this case, obtaining the degree, while male students rather mention the object of achievement, knowledge itself. In any case they are in the field of provision and it is placed where they locate the purposes of academic training.

In this sense it seems that the students, even if they are starting or finishing the career, express training objectives oriented to provision, which could be a first indication that the relationships experienced, in the context of the subjects in particular and the career in general, are not intended to modify the provision ​​starting position, in any case it is maintained or strengthened.

In fact it is, as we have mentioned, something that fully agrees with many of the purposes of the most common subjects among professors, also subjected to an obvious instrumental rationality. They also fit the general purposes of the university, which shows a surprising harmony between what the market requires, students, faculty and the institution itself, which in this case means a supplying ​​position before the objectives of academic training. In this sense, from the point of view of the purpose, it would seem that basically the aim is to train future suppliers, both women and men and it seems that there would be a widespread agreement.

This does not mean that students do not link academic training to the objectives focused on people, but we could qualify those objectives, largely as side effects of the academic training activity, which in the case of professors are not even mentioned, but in the case of students they take a very important significance. Both female and male students point making friends as a target, enjoy college and personal life in a different way to how they have lived their previous formative stage, freshmen with the excitement of novelty and seniors with some nostalgia, as shown in the following two quotes, respectively:

Q: What do you expect from the university?

A: I hope to live things that I have not lived before, to learn as much as possible, because it is something that I am studying and that I like. And I don't know (-), by now I expect that. I hope for surprises (ja).

(Reg. 12049-12050. Interview 2nd: female student of first course of Master. Specialty in Early Childhood Education).

Q: And what do you expect from the university?

A: The degree (jaja).

Q: Basically.

A: I expect, I expect very little, because it seems to me that everything it had to give me has been given already. If I come back... I will surely never stop studying; I would like not to stop studying. Well, I do not know if I will ever stop studying. I would like to say that when I finish studying Law I will obviously look for a job that is related to Law and it will be really my livelihood, but I don't know, I will continue studying, surely, I will continue studying. But that won't be the same, as I will not look for a first job. No longer will I be here and look for the crew and see where we are going and what we are doing this weekend. Because they will say: "Listen, you are 36 where do you want to go this weekend? You have to go with your wife and your children, got it?" that will be the answer, I guess. Whatever had to be given, I believe that I have received it, and that I am still receiving it. At least I still need to finish this course, and the end of this course continues to be as large as the first, second, third and fourth.

Q: And what is that?

A: What is it? It is, above all, to share the end of exams with the people that you won't see any longer because you finish this year. And the last exam with those people who are special, very special, in fact I would like to say, people don't grieve for the exams, people grieve because it is the last one and they won't return to be together any more, since they don't know if they will see many of those people again. Indeed, we are friends, we are great friends but there are many stories that despite being great friends won't continue. That is quite clear. And it is not that I know, I mean, every beginning has an end. That is wrong, I will continue here and they will leave. That really gives me a bad feeling. That's why I am in a rush to finish.

(Reg. 14817-14822. Interview 16th: senior student of Law).

Additionally, there is not either any noticeable difference between male and female students when it is linked, in a few cases, the direct impact of academic training in the subjectivity of the person as a goal. That is to say, when training is taken not only in terms of provision but also as a type of context that allows students to mature as persons or progress in learning in response to their singularity. In fact, when students link the academic training received at university and its impact on their training as people. Even when they express that they feel their university training not only is preparing them as future professionals, but also as people (especially pointed out by the students of first course), the idea of academic training at that level is anchored to the acquisition of knowledge that we could say is for personal use, or what some people interviewed labeled as "lesser culture".

A: Man, personal also, personal, well I have learned many things. Let's see, general culture, for example I have learned where teletext comes from, just to say something. That is one thing that you always... I make many absurd questions.

Q: Yes.

A: My girlfriend tells me constantly. Probably we are going to a place to have dinner and I say... and they serve a slice of toast and I say, and what do they do with the rest of the slices? Because they always serve the biggest.

Q: Right, right.

A: It is not that, it is bigger bread, but well I wonder about everything. As for example what I told you, they have explained the teletext to us, how mobile phones work, those things on a personal level, I am not going to work explaining to people that is the teletext.

Q: Right.

A: But on a personal level, it is culture that one learns.

(Reg. 10042-10048. Interview 20a: senior student of Technical Engineering in Computer Systems).

Ethical and moral dimensions are not perceived as a central aspect that they receive or should receive in their academic training. Regardless of sex, degree and level of course, there would be a broad agreement to consider that, mainly, what they have is academic training, which would help to strengthen the circle between what university has formally as a purpose, what the teaching staff offers and what the students receive.

In this framework, basically supplier, however, we can highlight some nuances: personal growth via the attainment of intellectual maturity; and the recognition of a certain ethical and moral impact through the culture of sacrifice and effort or being aware of some of the limits that are significant to personal life as illustrated in the following quote:

Q: What you study, do you think it has to do with your academic training or more with your training as a person?

R: Both. Yes, it provides academic training of course (-) and as a person, because it makes you conscious of things that you didn't have an idea. I don't know, the fact of browsing legal texts that we have, on TV... of course they don't tell you anything but there are -articles and things you say "how terrible, how come this thing is here?, why haven't they changed it" and without having entered in this career or any other that deals with these topics you don't realize, don't get involved in anything, and obviously you take the dynamics of indifference. As you don't know, you consider it unimportant. Of course when you know it, it can affect your life and you react. (-) Especially on topics of social security: widowhood, retirement pension, orphanhood, what would happen, what possibilities you have, the quantity of things that people can claim and they don't because they don't know about it. And that would have to be enhanced.

Q: And how do you think this career has changed you? At a personal level.

R: Being more conscious, I knew that there were things that... You know? They are over there. As you don't know it well you don't think it is important. As you are studying and going deeper... you realize and say "so many things that must be changed". Yes, above all to change because it is very important. I already knew that... it is good to change. But when you get into this career people can't just establish, they have to improve themselves and not only in their work but also in their everyday lives. Reading the newspaper, updating.

Q: Did you realize that the first year? Did it begin to change in this regard the first year?

R: Yes, yes.

(Reg. 13703-13708. Interview 11a: senior student of Labor Relations).

The person's formation is in the background and it seems to some of the interviewed people something difficult to achieve. The reasons, at this point, vary. In one case the impossibility of achieving it due to the fact that there is not a proper context was pointed out. This would be the intensive use of tutorials, not only to resolve doubts about the content of the subject, but on more general and transversal topics, which would start to affect the most personal aspects of students.

In other cases default qualities are mentioned, with which the university educational activity has very little to do. In this case, the necessity that students like their activity to do it well is located as a central element of the argument. There would be a certain essentialist interpretation: people do or study something because they like it. People do not like what they do for the fact that they do it. Qualities would be a precondition, about which the interviewee suggests there is little to do. It seems that everything indicates that students' view in regard to the purposes associated with academic training is basically prospective, where the formative activity the university provides contributes with it, and ultimately reaffirms it.


The discourse analysis of the teaching staff and students on the components of care and provision in the conception of the purposes of the subjects, allows us to draw attention to some of the basic features of the interactions between professors and students. Firstly, there is a common denominator among professors, students and the institution itself: the goal of providing a formation in which contents are appropriate for the labor market.

The faculty is built as the main provider of such knowledge oriented to meeting the needs of labor market and companies. However, as we have seen, the common points end just here. This objective, the interviewed students somehow seem to be demanding greater effectiveness in the achievement of that supplying objective, ignoring other possible purposes that the university should satisfy.

In this regard, their link seems especially instrumental, up to the point of not perceiving a not explicit effect that accompanies the objective that professors arise when they intend to prepare their students as best as possible: caring by encouraging their autonomy, even if it is not raised, in most of the cases, as an explicit objective to achieve. However, neither the professors, in general terms, express a clear understanding of the association between the appropriate academic training for the market and its effects on supporting the development of the students' autonomy.

What is more, the conception of purposes is, at this point, blind to all reflexivity. In a way it is considered self-evident. Perhaps we should reflect individually or collectively more about the objectives of courses and qualifications in general, taking explicitly into account the students' needs and how they can become aware of them. Perhaps a way of supporting the development of students' autonomy can start to stimulate reflexivity about their own needs and express them, and not to take them exclusively as an object that is defined and delimited by the faculty.

The scarce reference to items that connect with care by students in regard to the purposes of subjects, regardless of sex, the career and the course, warns us about the lack of recognition of the own fragility and the fragility of others, the dependency and the recognition of their own needs and their satisfaction. That students can expect from the university, their studies, the subjects, to improve their set of opportunities in the labor market is a reasonable objective.

However, being the only academic preferred objective is an indicator that the development or autonomy of the person is not the main goal, and if reached, it is as a collateral effect of achieving adaptation of people to the labor market. This conception shared between professors and students, regardless of sex and the career, highlights the provision to a marked gender bias of the purposes of university training, in which a male conception prevails.

In this regard, the general and shared framework of the university, according to how we interpreted the speeches of the persons interviewed, pushes toward a direction, blinding the importance of incorporating the dimension of care into the objectives of subjects, and with it a feminine conception of the purposes. The most obvious element of this absence is that the impact that their activity has on people is not part of the contents of subjects taken into account in the performance of professions. We have not detected an orientation of this type in the speeches of any interviewee, but the opposite.

From the point of view of the differences in the professors' discourse according to sex and career, we have been able to show that the effect of both variables is not symmetrical. We noted that female professors, in general terms, are more sensitive to the context of qualifications, even to cease raising objectives linked to care to go to provision, confirming, paradoxically, women's readiness for others.

While, professors express objectives linked to provision in all of the degrees. This is to say, female professors of degrees closer to the feminine comply with the expectation of gender socially assigned to their sex, as they pay particular attention to people. But the same is not true with female professors of degrees closer to the masculine, which break with the expectation of gender assigned to their sex, as they adopt as goals, objectives centered on things, i.e., to prioritize the learning of contents.

This would seem to indicate that the gender of the degrees affects more than sex on professors. It would seem that women's qualifications do not have the same impact on men as men's qualifications have on women. In the case of female professors it seems to obey basically to the gender of the degrees in regard to training purposes, with hardly any differences if it is about diplomas or degrees, while in the case of male professors to imperatives of their sex.

It would seem necessary, in order to reduce gender bias in the purposes of university teaching to introduce competencies linked with care in their formative plans, as well as to review which of the current goals of university training meet the students' needs, and not only their demands, which often seem to be the only ones served.


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1 We say dictatorship because it is an authoritarian way of solving the problem of procreation.

Received: October 16, 2014; Accepted: September 07, 2015

Enrico Mora. Ph.D. in Sociology, professor in the Department of Sociology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. Research areas: analysis of social inequalities and power according to relations of sex, gender and class in the labor (commercial and domestic) and health spheres, and their impact on the one hand, in the formation of the subjectivities, emotions and the bodies, and on the other, in the social relations of care and provision. Recent publications: Mora, Enrico, "Las circunstancias en la acción. Institucionalización, acomodación y resistencia en el capitalismo patriarcal", in Revista Internacional de Ciencias Sociales Interdisciplinares, Vol. 4, no. 2 (2015); Pujal i Llombart, Margot and Enrico Mora, "Subjectivity, health and gender: an approach to chronified pain through the Psychosocial gender diagnostic methodology", in Studies in Psychology, Vol. 35, no. 2 (2014); Mora, Enrico, "La organización social y de género del grito. Quien puede gritar en un gimnasio", in Prisma Social, Revista de Ciencias Sociales, no. 13 (2014).

Margot Pujal i Llombart. Ph.D in Social Psychology, professor of the Department of Social Psychology of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain. Research areas: health, gender, subjectivity and body; psychosocial analysis of gender violence. Recent publications: Arensburg, Svenska and Pujal i Llombart, Margot, "Aproximación a las formas de subjetivación jurídica en mujeres víctimas de violencia doméstica", in Revista Universitas Psycologica, Vol. 13, no. 4 (2014); Pujal i Llombart, Margot and Enrico Mora, "Subjectivity, health and gender: an approach to chronified pain through the Psychosocial gender diagnostic methodology", in Studies in Psychology, Vol. 35, no. 2 (2014); Schongut, Nicolas and Pujal i Llombart, Margot, "Intertextualidad y narratividad como herramientas para el ejercicio de la reflexividad en la investigación feminista: el caso del dolor y el género", in Athenea Digita, Vol. 14, no. 4 (2014).

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