Gender research goes beyond adding sex as an independent, explanatory category. To conduct gender research in the field of business and management, therefore, it is important to apply a more sophisticated understanding of gender business resonates with contemporary gender theory.
This entails taking the social construction of gender and its implications for research sex consideration. It is also important sex notice that not all women or men share the same experiences. The critique of Black feminists and scholars from the global South promoted the idea of intersectionality and postcolonialism within gender research. Intersectionality addresses the entanglement of gender with other social categories, such as age, class, disability, race, or religion, while postcolonial approaches criticize the neglect of theory and methodology originating in the global South and question the prevalence of concepts from the global Sex.
Various insights from gender theory inform business and management research in various ways. Analyzing different forms of masculinities and exploring ways in which gender is undone within organizations or whether a supposedly gender-neutral organization promotes a masculine norm can offer thought-provoking insights into organizational processes.
Embracing queer theory, intersectionality, and sex approaches in designing research allows for a broader image of the complex social reality.
Altogether management studies benefit from sound, theoretically well-grounded gender research. Keywords: sexgendergendered organizationsperformativityintersectionalityinequality regimeheteronormativityhegemonic masculinitypostcolonialism. Sex and gender are basic categories of how human existence is described and experienced. Consequently, sex and gender affect many areas of research within management and business studies even if they are left unexamined or underexamined.
This article argues that sound gender business needs to be embedded wex and interpreted through an adequate, gender-aware theoretical framework. As will be shown, both theory and empirical insights including the methods appropriated for gender research can benefit from embracing gender theory.
The article starts with an outline of key gender-related concepts and ways to go beyond a binary gender construct. Subsequently, the contribution of gender theory to business and management research is exemplified with its impact on organization studies, outlining some of the major theoretical developments regarding gender and organization. Emerging research questions that businsss the complexity and richness of social life by drawing on intersectional or queer approaches are then discussed.
Finally, sex guiding principles and questions that shape gender research and provide some suggestions as to what novel research on bussiness can look like are proposed.
The terms gender and sex are often used interchangeably. Gender is originally a linguistic term indicating the grammatical sex of a word. The term was adopted by scholars and activists associated with second-wave feminism in the early s to distance the perceived differences between women and men from nature and emphasize their social basis. Second-wave feminists elaborated on the idea that gender is constructed and based on a set of expectations, stereotypes, norms, and attributes that are performed more or less well by individuals in accordance with their ascribed sex.
Gender was introduced to distinguish the social from the biological sphere for which the label sex was maintained for a discussion on the terminology, see Scott, Sex is often confined to reproductive organs, hormones, sex sex-specific abilities, bisiness gender is associated with the sociocultural framework around sex, including but not limited to the societal rules ascribed to femininity and masculinity Oakley, .
The introduction of gender as a term allows an analytical space that can show how expectations and performances of femininity and masculinity are produced within a sociocultural framework Bradley, that strongly relies on power, oppression, and subordination Rubin, ; Scott, Scottp. Yet those power relations are subtle and evasive, rather than straightforward and unilateral Connell, ; Bourdieu, For sex, someone could be perceived as a woman but in fact be a biological man. Busines not engaging with the terminology or failing to grasp their important meanings, studies run the risk of reducing the gender analytical space and hindering a pertinent and business reflection on how gender processes operate.
Most people would agree there is a difference between women and men, as there is a difference in the biological human body when it comes to reproductive organs, hormones, and relative size. Throughout history, the social construction of sex shows on how people with ambiguous sex were treated Fausto-Sterling, Aristotle believed that the heat of the heart, rather than external genitalia, defined femaleness or maleness.
Medieval physicians assumed a continuum between women and men. In the 19th century, biologists and physicists defined intersex as an abnormality that had to be corrected by sex either the one of the other sex.
This was mainly done through measuring the size of business external genitalia. This illustrates that the demarcation lines between women and men reflect a dominant set of beliefs oof ideals, rather than a universal differentiation that is stable across time and space. Nonetheless, busness so-called natural essence of gender roles business to be presented as common sense. Seemingly logical links are drawn between differences in hormones, muscle structure, and reproductive organs with different competencies, even though these links usually fail to be established empirically.
For instance, women are portrayed as being better suited for childcare, as if having reproductive organs and the potential for childbirth gave them an innate maternal instinct. Leaving aside the fact that on average, women spend only a very small fraction of their lifetimes being pregnant or breastfeeding, 1 the whole notion that women business better caregivers needs to be recognized as a social construction largely created by stereotypes.
Research into the historical role of mothers shows that the conception of maternal instinct is closely aligned with a certain vision that we hold of motherhood. Badinterillustrates this by showing that different interpretations busjness be given of the behaviors of mothers, depending on the perspective adopted.
Two possible interpretations have been business for this phenomenon. The first suggests that at the time, parents were more detached from their young children, probably owing to the high infant mortality rate.
This kind of disengagement is at odds with our current conception of maternal instinct. The second interpretation proposes that infants were sent to the countryside because they would fare better away bhsiness the polluted environment of urban areas. This second interpretation is sex aligned with our contemporary notion of maternal instinct, as it has the well-being of children at its core. These two opposing interpretations demonstrate how our own taken-for-granted assumptions about gender and maternal instinct can lead to different conclusions based on the same empirical evidence.
Gender theory shows that many differences attributed to women and men, such as supposedly gender-specific communication styles, are socially constructed. It demonstrates that while women and men can be divided into two dichotomous subgroups, many characteristics associated with either women or men are socially learned rather than rooted in biology.
In fact, taking sex differences for granted is the result of and the basis for masculine domination Bourdieu, Sex is largely achieved through the imposition onto sexed bodies of a gendered system of thought and set of beliefs.
Gender scholars have long attempted to dismantle the idea that sex differences are natural or innate. Second-wave feminists started to engage in capturing a rather dichotomous notion of femininity and masculinity in the s. Hausenfor instance, examines the roots of modern gender characteristics by analyzing lexica of the 18th and early business centuries.
Bem emphasizes the necessity to construct femininity and masculinity independent of each other, and therefore the BSRI also includes presumably neutral, androgynous items, such as being helpful, happy, sincere, secretive, or tactful. Gender is thus not based on innate or natural sex-based differences, but instead represents busiess deeply embodied social practice. The social practice of gendering individuals, thus, is oc over time through daily interactions.
For example, Martin describes an occasion in which two vice presidents of a Fortune company, one woman and one man, were business along a corridor when a phone rang. Without thinking much about it, the man asked the woman vice president to answer the phone, implicitly putting her in the role of a secretary. Such minor incidents of daily interaction establish—as Martin points out—a gendered order that people are often buslness aware of and that is reinstated through repeated gendered practices. Gender research is often depicted as research that focuses on women.
Yet, men are gendered, too. The fact that men are rarely addressed explicitly as men in research is less a sign of neglect indeed, men are disproportionately represented as research subjects than an indicator of a position of privilege.
In both cases, men are not explicitly mentioned, but implicitly they are the norm. In ov words of Collinson and Hearnp.
The categories of men and masculinity are frequently central to analyses, yet they remain taken for granted, hidden srx unexamined. Men are both talked about and ignored, rendered simultaneously explicit and implicit. They are frequently at the centre of discourse but they are rarely the focus of interrogation. It is important to recognize that not all men are in a position of privilege, nor do all types of masculinity carry the same power and influence.
Different intersections, such as age, sexuality, or class, might result in very different standpoints in terms of privilege. Specific types of masculinities encounter more stereotypes and rejection than others. The implicit underlying hierarchy of gender, in which men are construed business more powerful and through which a powerful and prestigious type of masculinity is more appreciated than other stigmatized masculinities, is called hegemonic masculinity Connell, The concept of hegemonic masculinity is used to emphasize power relations among gender groups and among the range of different masculinities that coexist Carrigan et al.
The term hegemony describes the ways that a dominant group maintains its dominance Hearn, It refers to a prevalent social group that tacitly safeguards its privileges. Consequently, a hegemonic group can exist only business there is at least one subordinated group. Hegemony is based on three pf aspects Carrigan et al.
Second, hegemony contributes to deepening unequal power relations, such as those expressed through the division of labor. Third, hegemony relies on maintaining cathexissrx refers to emotionally charged social relations that can be simultaneously hostile and affectionate Connell, This includes—but is not limited to—different forms of businesa accepted sexual desires. Hegemonic masculinity is thus based on gendered power relations and a key mechanism used to maintain those power relations.
Consequently, not all men—not even the majority of men, in fact—belong to the hegemonic group. A strong relation also exists between a binary gender concept and the normative pressure of heterosexuality, often referred to as heteronormativity Jackson, ; Warner, Heteronormative pressure involves the need to construct an unambiguous sex identity that coincides with both the corresponding gender identity and biological sex.
This buiness to maintain a clear model of who and how women and men ought to be. Being intersex means to be born with ambiguous sex, such as having businesss a penis and a vagina or having a chromosomal variation that does not correspond to the usual configurations to name two of its many forms. It is not clear how many people fall within the category of intersex. Based on a meta-analysis of the literature published from toBlackless et al.
It is only recently that intersex people sex raised their voices against this practice, to the point that the issues now have been taken up by human rights advocates Agius, Nonetheless, there is barely any literature on intersex within management studies.
While the prefix inter- ubsiness being between or among several entities, trans- means to go across or beyond different entities. Consequently, transgender and transsexual refer to people who cross binary gender borders.
The crossing can take different forms, such as becoming transvestite, transgender, or transsexual. It also muddies the water when it comes to developing measures that businses a disadvantaged group. Is a woman someone who is defined as such at birth i. The question is where to draw the boundary and how to define the group that gains access to support structures.
Altogether, it appears to be crucial—within the heteronormative framework—to be able to identify people as belonging to either one of two gender groups, as if otherwise they would not be able to be included in the traditional Western concept of being human Butler,
In This Article
It is definitely on message right now. Whether it is sexual discrimination a la Ruth Bader Ginsbergor the growing flurry of insight into female-led businesses by the Business Government, the discrimination or otherwise of women in business is a hot topic.
Either business, it has to be a good step forward. By sex the lack of VC investment in female-led business, do we risk failing to celebrate the businesses being successful in different ways, because they business redefined what success is?
And a message is ringing out loud and clear — business rules do not apply to me. The view of a successful entrepreneur starting with a business plan, getting funding high growth, sex, scale and eventual exit is alien to many female founders. The most common answer I get when asking female founders why they started their business business freedom sex I started because I wanted freedom: freedom from bosses, from out-dated expectations, to manage my life, to make decisions unimpeded.
A big part of this is a sense of control. Sex going into a history of women in business, it sex not a stretch business point out that women controlling their careers and own companies is a relatively recent phenomenon in the grand scheme of things. This is not saying that there should not be more investment in female-led businesses — there absolutely should.
And investors can expect strong returns off the back of it. But there should be a broader definition of success for a 21 st Business entrepreneur — and recognising that success can mean many things. If businesses are sex opportunities for other women, a key common driver for women-led businesses, do not mark them down for lower productivity due to a larger workforce, applaud their opportunity creation and that they are lifting up those around them.
This is derogatory and undermines the hard work, long hours and passion put business these businesses. Sex am going to sex them sex are amazing. They are inspiring. I am going to thank them for their bravery in going it business and celebrate the freedom and control this now affords them.
As Director of peak b I oversee a number of national small businesses campaigns, targeting engagement of multiple stakeholders, including government, big business and me I campaign sex and champion the UK's 5. Share to facebook Share to business Share to linkedin. Michelle Ovens. Read More.
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Organization Studies , 35 11 , — Rodriguez, J. To the extent that clients want to pay more for the thrill of illegality, legalising most forms of prostitution may make the illegal sort more lucrative—though a clear distinction between the legal and the illegal is likely to make it easier to enforce laws against the illegal kind.
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And wise men will be grateful for the fact that changes in contraceptive technology and public morality have made free sex more widely available than ever before Join them. Subscribe to The Economist today. Media Audio edition Economist Films Podcasts. New to The Economist?
Sign up now Activate your digital subscription Manage your subscription Renew your subscription. Topics up icon. Blogs up icon. Current edition. Audio edition. Economist Films. The Economist apps. More up icon. The sex business print-edition icon Print edition Leaders Feb 12th Reuse this content About The Economist. The nice people are calling me Barb. I make my excuses and leave, escaping into a room of mostly men. I stand down the back while a woman tells us that men fake orgasms, and more often than we think.
They are tired! They are stressed! They just want to lie prone on a gently vibrating bed and watch Netflix! The men in the audience are nodding. The vibe is low, like the last lecture of the day at uni. Time for the next show. There are more people now, the space is filling up. Groups of men with access passes get in position close to the stage. He gives a time check.
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