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Male privilege revisited: how men in female‐dominated occupations notice and actively reframe privilege


Schwiter, Karin; Nentwich, Julia; Keller, Marisol (2021). Male privilege revisited: how men in female‐dominated occupations notice and actively reframe privilege. Gender, Work and Organization:Epub ahead of print.

Abstract

Our article aims at refocusing the debate in privilege studies from tackling the invisibility to challenging justifications of gender privilege. Focusing on instances in which men acknowledge that they receive preferential treatment, this study sheds light on how privilege is perceived and talked about in interviews with men in female-dominated occupations. In contrast to existing literature on the invisibility of privilege to the privileged, our analysis shows that the privileging of men is indeed known to them. However, our interviewees then employ specific discursive strategies to actively reframe and thereby silence privilege. They either justify privilege as an individual achievement or as a natural advantage of male bodies. In our discussion, we show how these discursive reframings build on existing discourses on gendered bodies and neoliberal subjectivity. Based on our key argument that gendered privilege is not invisible, but it is acknowledged and then actively reframed and thereby silenced, we argue for expanding the focus of privilege studies: Instead of primarily investing in making privilege visible to those who have it, we need to challenge the discourses that allow for reframing and silencing it.

Abstract

Our article aims at refocusing the debate in privilege studies from tackling the invisibility to challenging justifications of gender privilege. Focusing on instances in which men acknowledge that they receive preferential treatment, this study sheds light on how privilege is perceived and talked about in interviews with men in female-dominated occupations. In contrast to existing literature on the invisibility of privilege to the privileged, our analysis shows that the privileging of men is indeed known to them. However, our interviewees then employ specific discursive strategies to actively reframe and thereby silence privilege. They either justify privilege as an individual achievement or as a natural advantage of male bodies. In our discussion, we show how these discursive reframings build on existing discourses on gendered bodies and neoliberal subjectivity. Based on our key argument that gendered privilege is not invisible, but it is acknowledged and then actively reframed and thereby silenced, we argue for expanding the focus of privilege studies: Instead of primarily investing in making privilege visible to those who have it, we need to challenge the discourses that allow for reframing and silencing it.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Gender Studies
Social Sciences & Humanities > Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
Uncontrolled Keywords:Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, Gender Studies
Language:English
Date:10 July 2021
Deposited On:22 Jul 2021 08:34
Last Modified:23 Jul 2021 20:00
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0968-6673
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12731

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