Table of Contents

Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management

Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management

Getting In, Getting On, Getting Out

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Adelina M. Broadbridge and Sandra L. Fielden

Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management provides an international overview of current practice and theory surrounding gendered employment in management, illustrating the impact of gender on key stages of career development.

Chapter 7: Talking yourself into work: insights from sociolinguistics about gender and the employment interview

Mary Barrett

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, gender and management, human resource management


This chapter gives a brief critical history of three phases of linguistic research into gender and language: an essentialist phase, a constructionist phase and a post-structuralist phase. It pays particular attention to the post-structuralist phase, which focuses on how meaning is actively constructed by both parties to a speech event such as a conversation, and the consequences of particular judgements by the more powerful participants, especially in ‘gate-keeping’ conversations such as job interviews. We pay particular attention to research into naturally occurring conversations, which employs conversation analysis (CA), an interactional sociolinguistics technique. Campbell and Roberts’s (2007) CA-based study of intercultural employment interviews yielded complex, detailed understandings about how candidates’ speech led to favourable or unfavourable assessments of them during the employment interview.

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