Joan Acker proposed her gendered theory of organization as a framework to analyze organizations and to understand how gender underlies organizational structure in such a way as to subordinate women. Much of the previous work that has utilized this framework has examined highly (male‐) gendered organizations. This archival case study aims to use Acker's framework to examine a purportedly female‐gendered organization – the 1970s feminist organization, Stewardesses for Women's Rights (SFWR).
Using these archived materials, this paper uses a critical hermeneutic approach across Acker's framework of gendered organization to make sense of the rise and fall of SFWR. The paper discusses lessons learned from this short‐lived organization.
The paper finds that societal pressure and organizing women's understanding of what is “real” and valued in an organization pushed them to create an organization that was as highly (male) gendered as the organizations from which they were escaping. Many in the organization never saw SFWR as a “real” organization because of the underlying organizational logic that was directing what the organization should be. Even if the organization did, on the surface, look different than other explicitly male‐gendered organizations, the same underlying organizational logic manifested itself in similar organizational structure.
This archival case study uses Acker's framework to examine a purportedly female‐gendered organization – the 1970s feminist organization SFWR and reveals lessons learned.
Boone Parsons, D., Sanderson, K., Helms Mills, J. and Mills, A. (2012), "Organizational logic and feminist organizing: stewardesses for women's rights", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 266-277. https://doi.org/10.1108/02610151211209117Download as .RIS
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