Bodies, Symbols and Organizational Practice : The Gendered Dynamics of Power book cover
1st Edition

Bodies, Symbols and Organizational Practice
The Gendered Dynamics of Power

ISBN 9780367884345
Published December 12, 2019 by Routledge
278 Pages

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Book Description

Despite all the efforts to promote change, power and authority still seem to be permanently associated with the white, the straight and the masculine, both symbolically and in the everyday world of organizations.

As the intricate relationship between the symbolic and the everyday remains under-researched, this anthology proposes a transdisciplinary feminist perspective drawing on the humanities in order to explore the complex nature of the gendered politics of organizations. Indeed, analyzing how images, narratives, symbols and bodies are all part of how power and gender are constructed in organizations through a broad and international range of empirical studies, Bodies, Symbols and Organizational Practice explores issues at the interstices of the humanities and social sciences, combining theoretical and analytical perspectives from both areas.

Providing a radical analysis of the gendered dynamics of power as well as petitioning for radical intervention into those dynamics, this timely volume will appeal to postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers interested in fields such as: Organization and Management Studies, Gender studies, Feminist theory and Sociology of Work & Industry.

Table of Contents


Transdisciplinary Interventions

Agnes Boslø

Stine Helena Bang Svendsen

Siri Øyslebø Sørensen


Representations of women dressed for power

Agnes Bolsø

Wencke Mühleisen


Face of Finance

Anne Gjelsvik


Beautiful soldiers: Depicting a Gender Inclusive Army

Stine Helena Bang Svendsen


Beyond fashion’s alluring surface:
Connecting the fashion image
and the lived realities of women workers in the fashion industry

Louise Wallenberg

Torkild Thanem


Women at sea: sexual disorder and discipline

Agnes Bolsø

Lise Langåker

Wencke Mühleisen


The Genesis of Leaders: Women in the Petroleum Industry

Marit Aure


Making sense of downsizing: exploring masculinities in the Norwegian oil industry

Maria Dockweiler

Øystein Gullvåg Holter

Lotta Snickare


When office life becomes life – a study of investment banking

Lotta Snickare

Øystein Gullvåg Holter


Women to the rescue? Gender, power and idealism in the third sector

Siri Øyslebø Sørensen


A leadership ethics of sexual difference?

Alison Pullen

Sheena J. Vachhani


Organizational Scenarios for Human Evolution

Agnes Bolsø

Wencke Mühleisen


Gender, Power and Feminist Resistance

Lynne Segal

Epilogue: Residues from the past and emerging structures of feeling


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Agnes Bolsø is a Professor within the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

Stine H. Bang Svendsen is Associate Professor of Pedagogy at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

Siri Øyslebø Sørensen is a researcher at the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway


This highly original book takes its readers on a journey well beyond the narrow confines of the social scientific domination of work and organization studies, providing a dazzling series of insights into what the world of the humanities has to offer. With its heady mix of empirical richness and theoretical exploration, it is an inspiring read for anyone with an interest in the gendered politics of organizational images, narratives, symbols, and embodied ways of being. One of the book’s many strengths is its appeal for radical, theoretically-informed intervention into the gendered dynamics of organisational power relations. Written by challenging and original thinkers, the whole collection opens up the ways in which we write and think about organizational aesthetics, cultures and power that is both theoretically sophisticated and conceptually ground-breaking. The book deals head-on with the question of how we are to understand, and address, persistent forms of aesthetic and embodied inequalities as these are lived and experienced in a wide range of organizational contexts, and through a whole host of practices, including those that perpetuate aesthetic discrimination and embodied oppression, often whilst purporting to do precisely the opposite. Professor Melissa Tyler, Essex Business School, University of Essex

This very timely book covers a diverse range of topics, industries and approaches to develop understanding gendered/gendering bodies as symbols of organizational practices. Like all good feminist work the book is avowedly political: one of its aims is to ‘forestall women’s complicity with a neoliberal climate that is so harmful for the majority of women’. But it does far more than this. Each chapter contains a particularly valuable, thought-provoking or mind-expanding nugget that insists on worming its way into one’s thought-processes and writing. The chapters exemplify the advantages of social scientists and colleagues from the Arts