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Title: Scripting masculinity
Authors: Fournier, Valérie L. F.
Smith, Warren
First Published: May-2006
Publisher: University of Leicester and University of Essex
Citation: Ephemera: theory and politics in organization, 2006, 6 (2), pp. 141-162
Abstract: There is an increasingly familiar genre in gender and organization studies, one that draws upon post- structuralism to stress the fluidity, impermanence and multiplicity of gender identities. This genre seeks to move away from an essentialist and dualist analysis of men and women as biological beings, and instead focuses on the performative nature of gender identities, the ways these are produced, maintained, and can be disrupted. In this paper, we offer a critique of this ‘masculinity genre’ by arguing that its compulsory claims about fluidity and multiplicity are undermined by essentialist assumptions. Thus the masculinity genre seems to be ineluctably drawn back into reproducing enduring clichés that articulate femininity around stereotypical images of intimacy, caring for others, bodily engagement, and masculinity around control, competitiveness and instrumental rationality. Whilst we do not wish to undermine the significance of gender inequality, we suggest that the incoherence that plagues writing on masculinity obfuscates the analysis of gender oppression. The scripted language and soft rhetoric that are deployed have little purchase on ‘hard’ gender effects and the strength of feelings that gendered practices may elicit.
ISSN: 1473-2866
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2006. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs License (
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Management

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