First, my gratitude goes to all study participants who generously shared their experiences with me, and whom I cannot identify by name for obvious reasons. I would also like to thank Ajnesh Prasad, Alan Taylor, Nancy Harding and Yiannis Gabriel for reading and commenting on earlier versions of this paper and for their unwavering support in preparing this paper. The usual disclaimer applies.
The Sublime Object of Desire (for Knowledge): Sexuality at Work in Business and Management Schools in England
Article first published online: 18 OCT 2010
© 2010 The Author(s). British Journal of Management © 2010 British Academy of Management
British Journal of Management
Volume 22, Issue 1, pages 42–53, March 2011
How to Cite
Fotaki, M. (2011), The Sublime Object of Desire (for Knowledge): Sexuality at Work in Business and Management Schools in England. British Journal of Management, 22: 42–53. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8551.2010.00716.x
- Issue published online: 15 FEB 2011
- Article first published online: 18 OCT 2010
This paper explores why and how sexuality intertwines with gender in the organizational context of academic institutions. Drawing on insights from the work of psychoanalyst post-structuralist feminists Luce Irigaray, Hélène Cixous and Julia Kristeva, we explore the institutionalized abjection of the real and imagined (woman's) body as the root cause of her relative exclusion from knowledge (creation) and her subordinate position in it. The project is analytical as well as political: it both unravels and opposes the ways gender is superimposed on sexuality and how we as academics might collude, legitimize and perpetuate and gendered sexualized (and therefore exclusionary) ways of organizing in/of society. The findings of an empirical study of a sample of women academics in management and business schools in England are discussed in the light of the proposed theory.