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Jean Helms Mills and Albert J. Mills

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Albert J. Mills and Jean Helms Mills

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Albert J. Mills and Jean Helms Mills

In this chapter we argue that it is important to study the role of history in current practices of gender differences. In particular we are interested in understanding how discriminatory practices develop, are maintained and change over time, and how these processes influence current relationships. We begin with a brief outline of the importance of studying past events and their role in shaping discriminatory ideas and practices. We then focus on the problematic role of studying history by examining three competing philosophical approaches, namely, modernism (single, factual accounts), postmodernism (relativist, discursive and plural accounts) and amodernism (relational multiple accounts), and their implications for research strategies. We draw on examples from commercial aviation to provide understanding of how each of these research strategies can be applied and their contrasting strengths and weaknesses. In the process, the key concepts we discuss are feminist theory, archival research, junctures, history, the past and ANTi-History.

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Albert J. Mills and Jean Helms Mills

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Caterina Bettin and Albert J. Mills

Caterina Bettin and Albert J. Mills focus their discussion on the work of philosopher Simone de Beauvoir, whose ideas are rarely seen as a mainstay in organizational theorizing. Bettin and Mills contend that a de Beauvoirian understanding of subjectivity retains a sense of existential and phenomenological autonomy for the subject to create the conditions for his or her life, while at the same time acknowledging that there are real limits for human freedom in terms of oppressive social and organizational structures. However, the struggle between freedom and submission is not a dialectic between abstract domains of structures and subjects The notion of the ‘art of living’ denotes the practical and open-ended character of the struggle for one’s particular life project in the context of oppressive and alienating structures. Following de Beauvoir, organizational theorizing on the nature of the self could avoid the extremes of essentialism and postmodern nihilism, they argue.