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Spaces that Matter: Gender Performativity and Organizational Space

Tyler, M and Cohen, L (2010) 'Spaces that Matter: Gender Performativity and Organizational Space.' Organization Studies, 31 (2). pp. 175-198. ISSN 0170-8406

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This paper examines the relationship between gender performativity and organizational space. Specifically, it focuses on some of the ways in which gender is materialized in and through workspace in accordance with the dominant gender norms shaping organizational life, a theme that has been relatively neglected within organization studies to date. Judith Butler?s (1988, 1993, 2000 [1990], 2004) performative analysis of gender draws critical attention to the body as a medium through which the gendered subject is brought into being, or made to ?matter?, as she puts it. This paper seeks to extend Butler?s analysis of gender performativity, focusing on the evocation and materialization of these norms through the gendered inhabitation of organizational space. Inspired by a piece of work by contemporary video artist Sofia Hulten called Grey Area, it develops Butler?s analysis with reference to data generated in a series of focus groups and interviews with women working in diverse roles within a university setting. The analysis of the findings of this research links Butler?s work on ?bodies that matter? to Lefebvre?s (1991) concept of ?representational spaces?, arguing that an important but relatively neglected aspect of the organizational materialization of the gendered self is the performance of ?spaces that matter?.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender performativity; materiality; Judith Butler; organizational space; representational spaces;
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2013 13:18
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:31

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