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Title: The role of co-workers in the production of (homo)sexuality at work: A Foucauldian approach to the sexual identity processes of gay and lesbian employees
Authors: Van Laer, Koen
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: HUMAN RELATIONS, 71(2), p. 229-255
Abstract: Adopting a Foucauldian perspective that focuses on the way power contributes to ensuring that sexuality leads a discursive existence, this study investigates the role of co-workers in the production of gay and lesbian employees’ sexuality. Drawing on interviews with 31 employees who self-identify as gay or lesbian, this article makes three contributions to the literature on sexual minorities’ identities at work. First, it shows how the production of sexuality is shaped by relations of attribution, evocation and circulation, which involve sexualizing practices through which co-workers directly contribute to ensuring that employees become sexually intelligible. By shaping the way sexual identities can be managed, these practices can turn the production of sexuality into a process that is not only unmanageable, but also even unmanaged by gay and lesbian employees themselves. Second, this article shows how an important element in sexual identity management is negotiating relations of truthfulness and inclusion, and constructing the occupied sexual subject position as positive or necessary. Third, it shows the connections between these different relations, which can occur and work together to ensure that all individuals come to be linked to a clear sexual identity.
Notes: Van Laer, K (reprint author), Hasselt Univ, Fac Business Econ, SEIN Ident Divers & Inequal Res, Agoralaan Gebouw D Diepenbeek 3590, Hasselt, Belgium koen.vanlaer@uhasselt.be
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/24880
DOI: 10.1177/0018726717711236
ISI #: 000419888200005
ISSN: 0018-7267
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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