Gender, the body and organization studies: que(e)rying empirical research

De Souza, Eloisio Moulin, Brewis, Jo and Rumens, Nick (2016) Gender, the body and organization studies: que(e)rying empirical research. Gender, Work and Organization, 23 (6) . pp. 600-613. ISSN 0968-6673 (doi:10.1111/gwao.12145)

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Even in organization studies scholarship that treats gender as performative and fluid, a certain ‘crystallization’ of gender identities as somehow unproblematic and stable may occur because of our methodological decision-making, and especially our categorization of participants. Mobilizing queer theory — and Judith Butler's work on the heterosexual matrix and performativity in particular — as a conceptual lens, we examine this crystallization, suggesting it is based on two implicit assumptions: that gender is a cultural mark over a passive biological body, or is a base identity ‘layered over’ by other identities (class, race, age etc.). Following Butler, we argue that in order to foreground the fluidity and uncertainty of gender categories in our scholarship, it is necessary to understand gender identity as a process of doing and undoing gender that is located very precisely in time and space. Given this perspective on gender identities as complex processes of identification, non-identification and performativity, we offer some pointers on how the methodological decision-making underpinning empirical research on gender, work and organization could and should begin from this premise.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations > Diversity and Gender group
Item ID: 20510
Notes on copyright: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: de Souza, E. M., Brewis, J., and Rumens, N. (2016) Gender, the Body and Organization Studies: Que(e)rying Empirical Research. Gender, Work & Organization, 23: 600–613. doi: 10.1111/gwao.12145, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
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Depositing User: Nick Aston
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2016 13:23
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2019 03:09

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