Gender, Power, and Organisation: A Psychological Perspective

By Paula Nicolson | Go to book overview

Chapter 4

Gender at work

INTRODUCTION

As argued in Chapter 3, the inner psyche and the social world are structured on clear gendered lines, and there is an intrinsic link between gender and experience. Women and men, boys and girls, have implicit knowledge of how this works. This rule applies regardless of whether one takes a behaviourist, cognitive developmental, social constructionist or psychoanalytic perspective.

Here, I examine gender socialisation and assess the way gendered behaviours and experiences are 'transferred' from the family to the workplace, with this 'spillover' held together through biography, reflexivity and unconscious processes.


GENDER ROLE DEVELOPMENT

In Part I it became clear that despite the best efforts of liberal feminists, gender role socialisation and stereotypical role expectations remain an integral part of human experience (Bleier, 1984). In observing studies of gender role socialisation for girls and boys, John Archer (1989) has argued that 'The most striking feature is the separation of their social worlds, entailing two different cultures' (1989:367). If this is the case, and there is increasing evidence that this is so, it is not surprising that women and men adopt different patterns of behaviours and enjoy differential sets of expertise. However, difference-even when this signifies underlying resonance with the subordination of women, as argued in Chapter 3-may be subject to resistance, which has implications for effectiveness and achievement in work organisations.

To understand the ways in which women and men operate at the organisational level, however, it is useful to examine gender socialisation

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Gender, Power, and Organisation: A Psychological Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements viii
  • Introduction ix
  • Part I - Biography, Biology and Career 1
  • Introduction to Part I 3
  • Chapter 1 - Gender, Subjectivity and Feminism 8
  • Chapter 2 - Gender, Knowledge and Career 32
  • Chapter 3 - Femininity, Masculinity and Organisation 51
  • Part II - Professional Socialisation and Patriarchal Culture 69
  • Introduction to Part II 71
  • Chapter 4 - Gender at Work 75
  • Chapter 5 - In the Shadow of the Glass Ceiling 101
  • Chapter 6 - Sexuality, Power and Organisation 117
  • Introduction to Part III 137
  • Chapter 7 - Barriers, Boundaries and Emotion 139
  • Chapter 8 - Conclusions 154
  • References 157
  • Index 170
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