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Liberal gender equality and social difference: an institutional ethnography

Raghunandan Reddy (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Kanpur, India)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 16 September 2019

Issue publication date: 21 November 2019

560

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the workplace experiences of women employees during maternity and post-maternity periods to reveal the institutional order that coordinated the social relations and shaped their experiences through local and extra-local texts.

Design/methodology/approach

The institutional ethnography research framework allowed for mapping of workplace experiences of women employees during their maternity and post-maternity periods in their local context, connecting them to the invisible extra-local social relations.

Findings

The research study explored the disjuncture between the gender diversity initiatives that aimed at the inclusion of women employees and the workplace experiences of women employees in terms of work disengagement and work role degradation, including career discontinuity.

Practical implications

The gender diversity and inclusion initiatives of an organization need to examine the local and extra-local institutional texts that govern their context and coordinate social relations, such that there is no inconsistency between the intentions, implementation and outcomes.

Social implications

The state needs to revisit the maternity benefit act to provide additional measures to protect the career continuity of women, who choose maternity at some point in their work lives.

Originality/value

The paper explored the institutional order that influences the career continuity of women employees during maternity and post-maternity periods using institutional ethnography research framework in an information technology services organization in India. No such research study has even been attempted.

Keywords

Citation

Reddy, R. (2019), "Liberal gender equality and social difference: an institutional ethnography", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 39 No. 9/10, pp. 680-694. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-06-2019-0114

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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