GENDER, WORK AND ORGANIZATION
7th international interdisciplinary conference, 27th-29th June, 2012
Keele University, UK
Call for abstracts
Intersectionality, work and organisations
Carlos Gomez, University of Santiago de Chile, CHILE
Natalia Rocha-Lawton, University of Hertfordshire, ENGLAND
Jenny Rodriguez, Newcastle University, ENGLAND
The stream seeks to showcase conceptual, theoretical and theoretically informed empirical discussion about intersectionality, work and organisation. The stream has a twofold aim. Firstly, to advance discussions on epistemic critiques and their implications for the way intersectionality is used as an analytical and interpretive framework to explore dynamics of power at work and organisations. Secondly, at a more practical level, the panel seeks to contribute to the understanding of how intersectionality is/could be used when researching work and organisations.
Intersectionality continues to be at the centre of debates looking at power dynamics from the perspective that argues interdependence between intersecting inequalities of gender, race, sexuality, age, disability, social class, religion, and nationality, among others, in relation to subject formations, positions and identities. Conceptually, discussions have moved from embracing Crenshaw’s (1991) propositions about the need to challenge and deconstruct single axis notions of identity, to discussing notions of pure and hybrid intersectionalities (Brah & Phoenix, 2004). More recently, the debate has advanced to more divisive thinking where some authors (McCall, 2005) address methodological complexities of intersectionality, whilst others (Ehrenreich, 2002) question the suitability of the use of ‘intersecting categories’ as the best way to approach the discussion and hint to a post-intersectionality agenda that shifts from ‘intersectionality’ to ‘multidimensionality’.
Yet the scope of intersectionality makes it useful for both its theoretical and conceptual functions, as well as its political and agentic functions to highlight and explain the inseparability of categories of difference (individual, institutional, social and cultural) and how these interact with power (McCall, 2005; Yuval-Davis, 2006). The mutually constitutive nature of inequalities and structures of discrimination argued by intersectional theories also provides a useful foundation to understand continuities, shifts and transformations of power in organisations. At the same time intersectionality is a contested framework due to the broadness of intersectional theory and practice, which leads to different, inconsistent, ambiguous, and open-ended approaches (Phoenix & Pattynama, 2006; Davis, 2008). For instance, despite the mainstreaming of intersectionality in policy-making, intersectional looks at work and organisations at an empirical level, in particular lived experiences of workers and how intersections affect structures of work and organisational dynamics, remain under-researched. The work of Joan Acker (2000, 2006) on inequality regimes set important arguments to advance the discussion on intersectionality in work organisations and a few others (Staunæs, 2006; Britton & Logan, 2008; Essers & Benschop, 2009; Holvino, 2010; Dahlkild-Öhman& Eriksson, 2011; Healy et al., 2011) have added significant theoretical and empirical insights. Yet the potential of this discussion has not been fully capitalised and it remains at the margins of the meta-narratives of work and organisation. Taylor et al. (2010:2) argue that intersections need to be “empirically substantiated demonstrated and ‘delivered’ [because] the formalistic addition and repetition of ‘intersectionality’ leaves out the intimate interconnections, mutual constitutions and messiness of everyday identifications and lived experiences”. That is an imperative challenge to advance understanding on the interplay between intersectionality, work and organisations. More discussion is needed to map the use of intersectionality in the study of work and organisations and expand understanding of how intersecting structures sustain and perpetuate power mechanisms and systems of subordination in work settings. Moreover, these discussions need to span across geographies, temporalities, disciplines and perspectives so that they account not only for complexities in the intersections themselves but also for how these interplay with wider issues associated to contemporary work and organisational dynamics, such as debates on migration, varieties of capitalism, and more generally globalisation. The stream invites contributions of theoretical, conceptual and empirical works that focus on intersectional analyses of workers, work and/or organisations. Papers are invited on (but not limited to) the following themes:
- Limitations, exclusions and possibilities of intersectional analysis of workers, work and organisations.
- How intersectionality is used to shape research agendas about work and organisation.
- Use of multiple oppression theories to explore experiences of workers.
- Distinctiveness of intersectional approaches to research work and organisations.
- Methodological challenges of intersectional approaches to research in organisations.
- Normative assumptions challenged by the intersectional approaches used to research work and organisations.
- Selection and levels of different categories used in intersectional approaches to research work and organisations.
- Challenges of institutionalisation of intersectionality for research in work and organisations.
- Presuppositions and implications of intersectional approaches to research in work and organisations.
Abstracts of approximately 500 words (ONE page, Word document NOT PDF, single spaced, excluding references, no header, footers or track changes) are invited by 1st October 2011 with decisions on acceptance to be made by stream leaders within one month. All abstracts will be peer reviewed. New and early career scholars with 'work in progress' papers are welcomed. In the case of co-authored papers, ONE person should be identified as the corresponding author. Note that due to restrictions of space, multiple submissions by the same author will not be timetabled. In the first instance, abstracts should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Abstracts should include FULL contact details, including your name, institutional affiliation, mailing address, and e-mail address. State the title of the stream to which you are submitting your abstract.
Jenny K Rodriguez
Newcastle University Business School
5 Barrack Road
Newcastle Upon Tyne
England, United Kingdom
Phone: 44 191 208 1718
Fax: 44 191 208 1738
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