Gender relations and identity: Masculinities and femininities at work in an advertising agency

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Gender relations and identity: Masculinities and femininities at work in an advertising agency. / Alvesson, Mats.

I: Human Relations, Vol. 51, Nr. 8, 1998, s. 969-1005.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Gender relations and identity: Masculinities and femininities at work in an advertising agency

AU - Alvesson, Mats

PY - 1998

Y1 - 1998

N2 - The paper explores gender relations and gender identity, based upon an ethnography of a Swedish advertising agency. The organization is of special interest as it has a strong gender division of labor, where men hold all senior posts, at the same time as creative advertising work seems to have much more similarity with what gender studies describe as "femininity" rather than with forms of "masculinity." The paper discusses how gender is constructed in an organizational context. Emphasis on workplace sexuality is related to identity work of men in response to the highly ambiguous and contested context of advertising work. Tendencies toward the "femininization" of the work and client relationships put some strain on (gender) identity for men, triggering a structuring of gender relations and interaction at the workplace to restore feelings of masculinity. The paper problematizes ideas of masculinities and femininities and argues for a rethinking of their roles in nonbureaucratic organizations. Also assumptions about a close connection between domination of masculinity and of males are critically discussed.

AB - The paper explores gender relations and gender identity, based upon an ethnography of a Swedish advertising agency. The organization is of special interest as it has a strong gender division of labor, where men hold all senior posts, at the same time as creative advertising work seems to have much more similarity with what gender studies describe as "femininity" rather than with forms of "masculinity." The paper discusses how gender is constructed in an organizational context. Emphasis on workplace sexuality is related to identity work of men in response to the highly ambiguous and contested context of advertising work. Tendencies toward the "femininization" of the work and client relationships put some strain on (gender) identity for men, triggering a structuring of gender relations and interaction at the workplace to restore feelings of masculinity. The paper problematizes ideas of masculinities and femininities and argues for a rethinking of their roles in nonbureaucratic organizations. Also assumptions about a close connection between domination of masculinity and of males are critically discussed.

KW - advertising agencies

KW - gender

KW - femininity

KW - masculinity

KW - organization

KW - sexuality

KW - work

U2 - 10.1177/001872679805100801

DO - 10.1177/001872679805100801

M3 - Article

VL - 51

SP - 969

EP - 1005

JO - Human Relations

JF - Human Relations

SN - 0018-7267

IS - 8

ER -