Gendering the Workplace: Between Transgression and (De-)Naturalisation


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Gendering the Workplace: Between Transgression and (De-)Naturalisation
Title of the book
Gender under Construction: Femininities and Masculinities in Context
Zinn Isabelle V.
Brill Publishing
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Ewa Glapka
This contribution focuses on the issues raised by doing research on occupational settings characterised by radically different statistical gender compositions, the florists and butchers in Switzerland. In order to understand how the discursive accounts of gendered occupations and the extent to which gender possibly matters on the workplace, it appears fruitful to diversify the contexts chosen for analysis. To generally associate ‘masculinity’ with features of the workplace such as heavy, dirty or mechanical work would be too simplistic and, in fact, only reproduce stereotypical assumptions about men’s experiences at work. It is hence important to question exactly how ‘masculinity’ is displayed through ordinary and professional discourse and through situated practices. The analysis of various professional documents, ethnographical observation and interviews should allow me to look into these two aspects and to question whether and how workplaces and occupations define a range of masculinities and femininities that are legitimate within a specific context. I am thus investigating exactly how these occupations are ‘gendered’ in such a way that being a male florist may pose ‘problems,’ while male butchers fit perfectly into our conception of what is ‘normal.’ Furthermore, I am interested in exploring the extent to which slaughtering an animal, cutting up meat or selling it in the shop are gendered activities, and if and how gender matters when the florist is giving a client advice about wedding flowers or when s/he is preparing floral arrangements.
My research seeks to i) investigate how gendered an occupation is ii) explore the situated relevance of gender affiliation in interactional patterns and discuss how and when the participants orient to gender categories and finally iii) identify the potentially variable ways in which men and women mobilise sex category membership in their daily work lives.
Create date
09/09/2013 18:30
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01/05/2021 6:32
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