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Cockpits, Hangars, Boys, and Galleys: Corporate Masculinities and the Development of British Airways

Insights and Research on the Study of Gender and Intersectionality in International Airline Cultures

ISBN: 978-1-78714-546-7, eISBN: 978-1-78714-545-0

Publication date: 5 July 2017

Abstract

This chapter sets out to examine the role of masculinity in the development of a gendered organizational culture over time. The development of images of masculinity within one company—British Airways—is examined through content analysis of company newsletters, advertising copy, annual reports, internal memoranda, and written rules and regulations. Exploring the notion of “multiple masculinities,” the chapter traces the prominent forms of masculinity that emerged in British Airways and assesses their impact on the ways that organizational practices were developed, maintained, and understood. Four key corporate images of masculinity are examined—the pilot, the steward, the engineer, and the “native boy”—and it is argued that those images contributed to the exclusion of women and people of color from those occupations by laying down cultural rules about the ideal typical characteristics of the job holder. The chapter concludes by raising questions about the value of a multiple masculinities focus in explaining changing and contradictory practices of discrimination; the primacy of extra-organizational over organizational practices; and the relationship between multiple masculinities and hegemonic masculinity. Further research is suggested into the extent to which hegemonic masculinity is undermined, over time, by changing and contradictory forms of masculinity within definite sites of gender construction.

Citation

Mills, A.J. (2017), "Cockpits, Hangars, Boys, and Galleys: Corporate Masculinities and the Development of British Airways", Mills, A.J. (Ed.) Insights and Research on the Study of Gender and Intersectionality in International Airline Cultures, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 237-263. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78714-545-020171014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, John Wiley and Sons