Is your workplace gay-friendly? Current issues and controversies

Rumens, Nick (2014) Is your workplace gay-friendly? Current issues and controversies. In: Sexual orientation at work: contemporary issues and perspectives. Colgan, Fiona and Rumens, Nick, eds. Routledge studies in management, organizations and society (31) . Routledge, London, pp. 181-196. ISBN 9780415536493. [Book Section]

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This chapter argues that particular invocations of workplaces as ‘gay-friendly’, typically those framed by a business case for sexual diversity in the workplace, constitutes a notable and problematic turn of emphasis in how LGBT sexualities are being folded into organisational heteronormativity, one that signifies a narrowing of possible subject positions and ways of life available to LGBT people at work. Although it is currently possible to identify gay-friendly places of work in ways that were impossible or improbable decades earlier, this chapter interrogates the concept of the gay-friendly workplace using a queer theory perspective. This involves an analysis of the situations that provoke the discourse of the gay-friendly workplace and the consequences to which it gives rise. It also demands attention is paid to the situations in which it is deployed, particularly those organisational contexts from which such a discourse derives its legitimation. Furthermore, this chapter argues that a queer theory perspective trains attention on how the subjects of a gay-friendly workplaces are positioned discursively, giving rise to pertinent questions about who is included and recognised as ‘normal’ within such settings, and who is marginalised and excluded. This chapter sounds a cautionary note against reading workplaces framed as gay-friendly as a ‘natural’ and logical next step in the development and materialisation of LGBT equalities at work.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations > Diversity and Gender group
Item ID: 15686
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Depositing User: Nick Aston
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2015 15:16
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:33

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