A Research Companion
Edited by Mustafa F. Özbiligin
Elisabeth K. Kelan and Julia C. Nentwich INTRODUCTION Seeing gender as a social practice has been a burgeoning topic in research on gender at work in recent years. This reflects a theoretical shift in gender studies towards constructivist and post-structuralist approaches. However in much research on gender at work, gender is still seen as a variable or a property of persons. In this chapter it is argued that such a view theoretically narrows the impact that research on gender at work could have. First, approaches to gender at work are reviewed to show that most studies have focused on a limited array of theories. Second, theories of gender as a social practice arising from gender theories are outlined. Subsequently, the application of those theories for research on gender at work is highlighted before we draw some conclusions and stress the implications that seeing gender as a social practice may have. TUNNEL VISION? Studies in the field of gender at work are flourishing. Studies have focused on gender differences in relation to job satisfaction (García-Bernal et al., 2005; Mason, 1997; Okpara et al., 2005) and management and leadership styles (Helgesen, 1990; Rosener, 1990; Eagly and Johannesen-Schmidt, 2001; Hau-Siu Chow, 2005). Studies also dealt with equal opportunities (Strachan et al., 2004; Burke, 2005; Metcalfe and Afanassieva, 2005) and issues around family friendliness (Grover and Crooker, 1995; Greenhaus, 1999; Konrad and Mangel, 2000; Linehan and Walsh, 2000; Lewis, 2001; Veiga et al., 2004), work–life balance (Drew and Murtagh, 2005) and working...
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