Monday, 8 April 2013

Gender disruptions in the digital industries?

an article by Sarah B. Proctor-Thomson ( Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand) published in Culture and Organization Volume 19 Issue 2 (March 2013)


The digital industries in the United Kingdom are said to have specific ‘image problems’.

Public sector policy-makers and commentators have argued that few women choose to enter this sector because there is a misfit between its dominant image as ‘geeky’, technical and masculine, and women workers’ self-perceptions.

Drawing on Judith Butler’s theory of gender performativity, this article juxtaposes these public policy claims with recruitment literature which seeks to disrupt or shift away from traditional stereotypes of the digital industries worker. This article considers the unintended consequences of these discursive objects and argues that they contribute to the re-inscription of gender norms rather than their disruption.

The analysis identifies repetitions of particular discursive practices which fix gender offering only narrowly legible worker subject roles with which women workers are expected to find their fit. This article argues that attention to discursive performativity in official public texts and visual and textual organisational artefacts offers a means for enhanced understanding of the transformations and continuities of inequalities within contemporary work domains.

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