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Man, en, mon, hen – Attityder till generiska pronomen i svenska språket


  • Jenny Kristoffersson

Summary, in English

It has been theorised and researched whether masculine generics are perceived as sexist and should be replaced by so-called gender-fair language. Masculine generics are grammatically masculine forms that are used to refer to people generically. This study investigated Swedish-speaking individuals’ attitudes towards the primary generic pronoun man (‘man’), its partial replacement and less common generic pronoun en (‘one’), the neologism mon (as generic ‘you’), as well as the gender-neutral pronoun hen (‘she/he’). Generally, people declared that they did not consider man to be problematic from a feminist perspective, however, the majority were aware of the debate about the word and had reflected upon their usage of it. Neutrality was the predominant attitude towards en, and more than 70 percent of the participants stated that they never deliberately use en instead of man. Most people had a negative attitude towards the suggested form mon. Lastly, more than half of the participants had a positive attitude towards hen, and almost two-thirds reported that they use hen in speech or in writing. The results indicate that most Swedish-speaking people deem that there is not a great need for more gender-neutral generic forms in the Swedish language.






Examensarbete för kandidatexamen


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Sanna Skärlund (Senior lecturer)