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Scripting masculinity

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journal contribution
posted on 2014-12-16, 16:41 authored by Valérie L. F. Fournier, Warren Smith
There is an increasingly familiar genre in gender and organization studies, one that draws upon post- structuralism to stress the fluidity, impermanence and multiplicity of gender identities. This genre seeks to move away from an essentialist and dualist analysis of men and women as biological beings, and instead focuses on the performative nature of gender identities, the ways these are produced, maintained, and can be disrupted. In this paper, we offer a critique of this ‘masculinity genre’ by arguing that its compulsory claims about fluidity and multiplicity are undermined by essentialist assumptions. Thus the masculinity genre seems to be ineluctably drawn back into reproducing enduring clichés that articulate femininity around stereotypical images of intimacy, caring for others, bodily engagement, and masculinity around control, competitiveness and instrumental rationality. Whilst we do not wish to undermine the significance of gender inequality, we suggest that the incoherence that plagues writing on masculinity obfuscates the analysis of gender oppression. The scripted language and soft rhetoric that are deployed have little purchase on ‘hard’ gender effects and the strength of feelings that gendered practices may elicit.

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Citation

Ephemera: theory and politics in organization, 2006, 6 (2), pp. 141-162

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/School of Management

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

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Ephemera: theory and politics in organization

Publisher

University of Leicester and University of Essex

issn

1473-2866;2052-1499

Copyright date

2006

Available date

2014-12-16

Publisher version

http://www.ephemerajournal.org/contribution/scripting-masculinity

Language

en

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