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Article
Publication date: 15 September 2014

Caroline J Gatrell

The purpose of this paper is to compare public health discourses on the importance of motherhood with organizational attitudes towards childbearing. It shows how pregnancy…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare public health discourses on the importance of motherhood with organizational attitudes towards childbearing. It shows how pregnancy and the nurturing of infant children are valorized within public health discourses, which treat pregnancy and new maternity as a miraculous “project”, encouraging mothers to position maternity as central to their lives. By contrast, the paper shows how employers treat pregnancy and new motherhood as inconvenient and messy: as monstrous, at work.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws upon a database of qualitative netnographic (or internet-based) research. It analyses netnographic interactions between pregnant and newly maternal women. These virtual data are afforded the same validity as face-to-face research.

Findings

The paper demonstrates how maternal responsibilities for nurturing pregnancy and infant children, and the bio-medical properties of the maternal body, are central to public health discourses. By contrast, the maternal body is treated within organizations as alien, or monstrous.

Originality/value

The paper compares and contrasts public health valorizations of motherhood, with organizational tendencies to treat pregnancy/newly maternal bodies as monstrous. It highlights dichotomies faced by employed mothers. A continuing chasm between the social organization of maternity, and the attitudes of employers towards children and maternal bodies, is identified.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Lesley Patterson

267

Abstract

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 20 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 May 2010

Caroline Gatrell

Drawing upon notions of agency and the body, the purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of agency as a gendered concept through a consideration of women…

2699

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing upon notions of agency and the body, the purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of agency as a gendered concept through a consideration of women sex‐workers. Specifically, the paper analyses how far women sex‐workers may be regarded as social agents. It then considers how far notions of agency, in relation to sex‐workers' embodied boundaries, may be gendered.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews existing literature on sex‐workers and sex‐work practices, looking at indoor sex‐work (massage parlours), outdoor sex‐work (street sex‐work) and trafficking. It considers these types of sex‐work in relation to agency, gender and the body.

Findings

The paper acknowledges the diversity of women's experience within different aspects of the sex trade. The paper recognizes claims that treating sex‐workers as “victims” could further jeopardize their social position. However, the paper finds that the “options” available to sex‐workers are severely constrained. Specifically, the lack of capacity among sex‐workers to set embodied “rules of engagement” with clients makes the notion of agency problematic. The paper contends that “agency” is itself a gendered concept not only in relation to sex‐work, but also in the context of women's work more broadly.

Practical implications

Through the idea of agency as a gendered concept, the paper offers alternative ways of exploring agency, the body and women's work.

Originality/value

The paper puts forward the notion of agency as a gendered concept. This opens up possibilities for further research on women's “choices”, and who “makes the rules” within different labour markets.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 August 2009

Caroline Gatrell

The purpose of this paper is to explore the long‐term effects of qualitative interviews on respondents. The paper offers a reflexive account of the author's research…

1343

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the long‐term effects of qualitative interviews on respondents. The paper offers a reflexive account of the author's research practices with regard to “safeguarding” research participants and researcher accountability.

Design/methodology/approach

In 1999‐2002, 20 women and 18 men who are in dual earner marriages/partnerships were interviewed separately. The study was entitled “Hard Labour 1”. In this paper, It is explained how, in 2007, 17 “Hard Labour 1” participants were contacted for a follow‐up study entitled “Hard Labour Revisited”. They were asked, via telephone and e‐mail, whether (and if so, how) they perceived themselves to have been affected by their interview for “Hard Labour 1”.

Findings

Some respondents are interviewed at a time of personal anxiety. This group perceived their interview as having been influential because it made them reflect deeply on their situation, bringing their thoughts to bear when they conducted subsequent negotiations with partners. However, participants do not see this as a reason to avoid qualitative research. They describe themselves as agentic beings who felt ownership of their involvement in “Hard Labour 1”. Their approach make to reflect upon the author's interpretation of “safeguarding” which is now regarded as a concept which may be co‐constructed between researcher and participants.

Originality/value

The paper explores “safeguarding” in relation to the long‐term effects of qualitative research interviews. It is suggest that undertaking a reflexive reappraisal of research practices is important because analyses of past projects may (as in the author's case) result in a “shift” in understanding of research concepts from both an empirical and a theoretical perspective.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 August 2012

Susan Fountaine

356

Abstract

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Article
Publication date: 3 May 2013

Shehla Riza Arifeen and Caroline Gatrell

The purpose of this paper is to make a case for empirical research for British Pakistani managerial and professional women, a group who have remained invisible in…

1493

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to make a case for empirical research for British Pakistani managerial and professional women, a group who have remained invisible in organization studies; to give voice to their experiences, to highlight the issues and challenges they are facing as women who have careers, their perceptions of what they are and how they have reached where they are and where do they think they would be going while taking an all‐inclusive view of the historical/social/culture/religious context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper undertakes a comprehensive re‐examination of the intersectional approach. An approach of gender with ethnicity and with religion and nationality or diaspora is suggested, in order to capture identities and focuses on relationship between gender and other categories of difference, in particular gender.

Findings

A review of race/ethnicity in organization studies in the UK reveals the homogenizing of ethnicities and a gap, as there is a lack of focused research on a large ethnic group in the United Kingdom. The paper then argues for intersectionality as being the most valid method as a means of analysis of a complex phenomenon, as it bridges partly the theoretical gap between critical theory and liberalism or deconstructionist tradition.

Originality/value

Empirical research on this marginalized group of women will highlight the structures and systems that are created and maintained. These may be self‐created and self‐perpetuated, but unless and until voice has been given to their experiences they will remain unknown.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 4 November 2013

170

Abstract

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Article
Publication date: 11 May 2010

Patricia Lewis and Ruth Simpson

This editorial aims to introduce the special issue on meritocracy, difference and choice.

2058

Abstract

Purpose

This editorial aims to introduce the special issue on meritocracy, difference and choice.

Design/methodology/approach

The first part is a commentary on key issues in the study of the notions of meritocracy, difference and choice. The second part presents the six papers in the special issue.

Findings

Five of the six papers in this special issue explore the work experiences of women managers/directors in senior positions within a variety of organizations. All of these papers demonstrate that despite their economic empowerment, these women are still strongly connected to the domestic realm through their continued entanglement in the traditional roles of mother and homemaker. This has led them to interpret their work situation either through a consideration of what they understand by the notion of merit or a presentation of their situation through the lens of choice. A further paper which explores the experiences of sex workers exposes the gendered nature of agency, highlighting the limitations on “choice” that different types of workers experience.

Research limitations/implications

The authors comment on how contemporary notions of merit and choice individualise women's experience within organisations, ignoring the structural and systemic elements inherent to women's continued disadvantage. This allows “blame” for women's absence in the upper echelons of organisations to lie with women themselves, explaining this in terms of their lack of skills or the traditional “choices” they make. The six papers which make up the special issue explore how women's “choices” are constrained, how the contemporary discourses of merit and choice conceal issues of structure and organizational process and how women struggle to make sense of their own and others' experiences.

Practical implications

The issues discussed in the papers have important implications for understanding women's experience of work and organizations. They highlight the need to introduce a structural and systemic element to the understanding of how women experience work at senior (and other) levels of organizations, why they take the decision to leave a senior position and why women appear to “choose” not to seek senior positions.

Originality/value

Gender and Management: An International Journal invited this special issue on meritocracy, difference and choice to draw attention to the ways in which women draw on these discourses as a means of understanding their organizational situations and how use of these discourses acts to conceal the structural and systemic element connected to their work experiences.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 29 October 2014

1

Abstract

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Sandra Fielden

382

Abstract

Details

Women in Management Review, vol. 20 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-9425

1 – 10 of 19