Gendering change: an immodest manifesto for intervening in masculinist organisations

Susan Harwood

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    [Truncated abstract] Conservative, incremental and modest approaches to redressing gendered workplace cultures have had limited success in challenging the demographic profile of densely masculinist workplaces. In this thesis I draw on a study of women in police work to argue that combating highly institutionalised, entrenched masculinist practices calls for more than modesty. Indeed the study shows that ambitious, even contentious, recommendations for new procedures can play an important role when the goal is tangible change in cultures where there is an excess of men. In conclusion I posit the need for some bold risk-taking, alongside incremental tactics, if the aim is to change the habits and practices of masculinist organisations . . . This dissertation maps that interventionist process across a four-year period. In assessing the role played by the feminist methodology I analyse what people can learn to see and say about organisational practices, how they participate in or seek to undermine various forms of teamwork, as well as how individual team members display their new understandings and behaviours. I conclude that the techniques for supporting women in authoritarian, densely masculinist workplaces should include some bold and highly visible ‘critical acts’, based on commitment from the top coupled to strongly motivated and highly informed teamwork.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2006


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