For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Managing difference in feminized work: Men, otherness and social practice"

by Pullen, Alison; Simpson, Ruth (2009)


This article presents a qualitative study of men who do traditionally female dominated and feminized work (specifically nursing and primary school teaching). Men are often seen as not only a minority to women in these contexts, but also their Other. The article explores the processes of doing gender as a social and discursive practice, highlighting the necessity to manage difference and the processual, emergent, dynamic, partial and fragmented nature of gendered identities. We show some of the complex ways in which men manage difference and how they transcend Otherness by doing masculinity and appropriating femininity so that masculinity is partially subverted and partly maintained. This analysis not only relies on the doing of gender through the doing of difference but also surfaces the undoing of gender and difference to disrupt gender norms and practices in work organizations.

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Women and Work, Organisation and Management Studies

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