Respectable femininity and career agency: exploring paradoxical imperatives

Fernando, Weerahannadige Dulini Anuvinda and Cohen, Laurie (2013) Respectable femininity and career agency: exploring paradoxical imperatives. Gender, Work & Organization, 21 (2). pp. 149-164. ISSN 0968-6673

[img] PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Available under Licence Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (139kB)

Abstract

This paper places respectable femininity at the very centre of career enactment. In the accounts of 24 Sri Lankan women, notions of being a ‘respectable’ woman recurred as respondents described how important it was to adhere to the powerful behavioural norms for women in their organizations and society. However while such respectability was vital for women's career progression, it ultimately restricted their agency and conflicted with other requirements for advancement. Based on our empirical findings, we propose that being a respectable woman was experienced as paradox, where at times it was seen as impossible to be both a good woman and a successful careerist. We highlight the implications of our findings for women's careers in South Asia and more widely.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Respectable femininity, Gender, Career, Gendered organization, Paradox
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Social Sciences > Nottingham University Business School
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12027
Depositing User: Liu, Mr Zhenxing
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2014 08:57
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2016 00:54
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/2816

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View