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“The faggot clause”: the embodiment of homophobia in the corporate locker room

Michele Rene Gregory (York College of the City University of New York, Jamaica, New York, USA)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Article publication date: 8 November 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between “locker room” hegemonic masculinities at work and the construction of homophobia, particularly the use of the word “fag” to describe gay men – real or perceived. Although research indicates that men are more homophobic than women, examples are presented which examine some of the reasons why women use the word “fag” at work. Although equal opportunities at work have improved for sexual minorities over the past two decades, studies indicate that some forms of anti‐lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) behaviour continue, which raises the question whether a hierarchy of inequality exists in some organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The data used to analyze this under‐researched phenomenon come from the author's observations working for three multinational corporations in the USA.

Findings

The paper shows how men and women engage in locker room culture to construct homophobic narratives.

Research limitations/implications

The issues raised in this article will be useful for empirical studies which examine the relationship between competitive sports and sexuality in the construction of masculine hegemonies in the workplace. Additionally, research should address the workplace experiences of sexual minorities who are also ethnic minorities, and disabled.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the largely invisible research on the role of sports culture, especially the locker room, and gender and sexuality in non‐sports work environments. It also contributes to the study of masculine embodiments by focussing on sports culture such as the locker room, heteronormative‐masculinities and homophobia.

Keywords

Citation

Rene Gregory, M. (2011), "“The faggot clause”: the embodiment of homophobia in the corporate locker room", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 30 No. 8, pp. 651-667. https://doi.org/10.1108/02610151111183180

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited