Postfeminism and Organization: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Postfeminism and Organization

1st Edition

Edited by Patricia Lewis, Yvonne Benschop, Ruth Simpson


236 pages

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Hardback: 9781138212213
pub: 2017-11-17
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This edited book inserts postfeminism (PF) as a critical concept into understandings of work and organization. While the notion of PF has been extensively investigated in cultural and media studies, it has yet to emerge within organization studies - remaining marginal to understandings of work based experiences and subjectivities. Understanding PF as a discursive cultural context not only draws on an established epistemological orientation to organizations as discursively constructed and reproduced but allows us to highlight how PF may underpin and be underpinned by other discursive regimes

This book, as the first in the field, draws on key international authors to explore: the contextual ‘backdrop’ of PF and its links with neo-liberalism, transnational feminism and other hegemonic discourses; the different ways in which this backdrop has infiltrated organizational values and practice through the primacy attached to choice, merit and individual agency as well as through the widespread perception that gender disadvantage has been ‘solved’; and the implications for organizational subjectivity and for how inequality is experienced and perceived.

This book introduces postfeminism as a critical concept with contemporary importance for the study of organizations, arguing for its explanatory potential when:

  • Exploring women’s and men’s experience of managing and organizing;
  • Investigating the gendered aspects of organizational life;
  • Analysing the contemporary validation of the feminine and the associated feminization of management/leadership and organizations;
  • Tracing the emergence of new femininities and masculinities within organizational contexts.

The book is ideal reading for researchers working in the area of Gender and Organization Studies but is also of interest to researchers in the areas of Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Women’s Studies and Sociology.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction

Postfeminism: Negotiating Equality with Tradition in Contemporary Organizations

Patricia Lewis, Yvonne Benschop and Ruth Simpson

Part 2: Postfeminism and Organization

1. Postfeminism and Gendered (Im)mobilities

Patricia Lewis

2. Doing-it-all: Exploring Work Life Balance in Nigeria through a Postfeminist Lens

Itari Turner and Ruth Simpson

3. Keep Calm and Carry on Being Slinky: Postfeminism, Resilience Coaching, and Whiteness

Elaine Swan

4. Postfeminism, Queer and Work

Nick Rumens

5. Contested Terrain: The Power to Define, Control and Benefit from Gender Equality Efforts

Elisabeth K. Kelan

6. Postfeminism and the Performance of Merit

Savita Kumra and Ruth Simpson

7. Analysing Entrepreneurial Activity through a Postfeminist Perspective – A Brave New World or the Same Old Story?

Helene Ahl & Susan Marlow

8. How Postfeminism Plays Out for Women Elite Leaders

Sharon Mavin and Gina Grandy

Part 3: Future Directions in Postfeminism and Organizations

9. Make Do and Mend? Working Postfeminism and Vintage

Philip Hancock and Melissa Tyler

10. Postfeminism as New Materialisms: A Future Unlike the Present?

Marta B. Calás, Linda Smircich and Seray Ergene

About the Editors

Patricia Lewis is a Reader in Management at Kent Business School, UK.

Yvonne Benschop is a Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Department of Business Administration at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Ruth Simpson is a Professor of Management at Brunel Business School, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Gender and Organizations

Although still a fairly young field, the study of gender and organizations is increasingly popular and relevant. There are few areas of academic research that are as vibrant and dynamic as the study of gender and organizations. While much earlier research has focused on documenting the imbalances of women and men in organizations, more recently, research on gender and organizations has departed from counting men and women. Instead research in this area sees gender as a process: something that is done rather than something that people are. This perspective is important and meaningful as it takes researchers away from essentialist notions of gender and opens the possibility of analysing the process of how individuals become women and men. This is called ‘gendering’, ‘practising gender’, ‘doing gender’ or ‘performing gender’ and draws on rich philosophical traditions.


Whilst Routledge Studies in Gender and Organizations has a broad remit, it will be thematically and theoretically committed to exploring gender and organizations from a constructivist perspective. Rather than focusing on specific areas of organizations, the series is to be kept deliberately broad to showcase the most innovative research in this field. It is anticipated that the books in this series will make a theoretical contribution to the field of gender and organization based on rigorous empirical explorations.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Workplace Culture
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Women in Business