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

Alvesson, Mats LU (1998) In Human Relations 51(8). p.969-1005
Abstract
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,... (More)
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. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
advertising agencies, gender , femininity , masculinity , organization , sexuality , work
in
Human Relations
volume
51
issue
8
pages
969 - 1005
publisher
SAGE Publications
ISSN
0018-7267
DOI
10.1177/001872679805100801
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f8fd8a32-e872-4f00-a34f-c86cd1a5005d
date added to LUP
2016-06-29 09:40:40
date last changed
2016-09-02 10:19:59
@misc{f8fd8a32-e872-4f00-a34f-c86cd1a5005d,
  abstract     = {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. },
  author       = {Alvesson, Mats},
  issn         = {0018-7267},
  keyword      = {advertising agencies,gender  ,femininity  ,masculinity ,organization ,sexuality  ,work},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {969--1005},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x91659b8)},
  series       = {Human Relations},
  title        = {Gender relations and identity: Masculinities and femininities at work in an advertising agency},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/001872679805100801},
  volume       = {51},
  year         = {1998},
}