Not Entirely Sure I Got This…

16 February 2011 at 1:07 pm 17 comments

| Lasse Lien |

From the British Journal of Management I got this abstract.

The Sublime Object of Desire (for Knowledge): Sexuality at Work in Business and Management Schools in England

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.

I  am not sure I fully get this, but my hunch is that I am guilty and should try to improve — but what, specifically, should I do?

Entry filed under: - Lien -, Pomo Periscope.

New Insight from Old Data The Vanishing Hand: 19th-Century French Edition

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nicolai  |  16 February 2011 at 1:09 pm

    This is perfect Pomo Periscope material …

  • 2. David Gerard  |  16 February 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Fire your grocer.

  • 3. David Hoopes  |  16 February 2011 at 3:08 pm

    A little editing might go a long way. How about Jargon Periscope?

  • 4. Randy  |  16 February 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Lasse, you obviously have phallogocentric issues. Shame.

    I think the following paragraph is even more illustrative of the argument [sic] than the abstract (it even invokes performativity!).

    “Before outlining the proposed theory, I define my conception of sex, gender and sexuality as asked to do by one of the reviewers. Although this could be a subject of more than one paper, I generally endorse the idea of ‘sex’ as located in physical difference and ‘gender’ as the socially determined unequal division of labour and power. Without debating the issue of arbitrariness of biological categorizations (Butler, 1990, 1993), I also accept that ‘sex’ is about performative practices that are socially reproduced because physical bodies do not exist outside social meanings. Hence my usage of the terms ‘woman’ or ‘man’ is not necessarily coterminous with female or male bodies as it eschews heteronormative conceptions that ignore difference and exclusion within so defined gender categories (Pringle, 2008). Sexuality is then both chosen and determined, constant and in flux, because (any) biological differences can be used as instruments in the elaborate social construction of sex and difference by all those who embody power structures.”

  • 5. Lasse  |  16 February 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Randy, I’ll get to that section later. I’m still only halfway through the abstract.

  • 6. Michael E. Marotta  |  16 February 2011 at 5:07 pm

    I also accept that ‘sex’ is about performative practices that are socially reproduced because physical bodies do not exist outside social meanings.

    So, Robinson Crusoe had no body, no sex, and no gender?

    Oh… sorry. What I meant to say was:

    “Thus, once trajectorized by islandization, Robinson Crusoe superceded his own sexuality and subsumed his metagenderization. He gave voice to his physical body becoming respatialize as internal parasocialization expressing a Lacan toroid.”

    (Maybe we could include Pomo in the Foreign Languages Department.)

  • 7. Lasse  |  16 February 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Not until Friday arrived, I guess.

  • 8. Randy  |  16 February 2011 at 6:30 pm

    So, If Crusoe only had sex on Fridays, would the arrival of Friday be a performative result?

  • 9. srp  |  16 February 2011 at 9:19 pm

    If you interrogated the author, I’d bet that transgender and various other forms of “intersex” issues would be the response to your queries about the social/physical distinction. Those phenomena loom large in the mental universe of the–well, the people who go in for this sort of thing. (Of course, that comment was merely a side issue, protecting the flank against accusations of naive reification of social categories, a big no-no.)

    These folks are positively addicted to the fallacy that the existence of borderline cases calls into question conceptual structures. Like when you first learn about the euglena and realize that “plant” and “animal” can be ambiguous categories. Most people grow out of it in junior high. Sowell called it the line-drawing fallacy in Knowledge and Decisions–his example was that the Turko-Greek border was disputed but no one doubted that Athens was in Greece and Ankara was in Turkey.

    As for the main point of the abstract, we should ask our female colleagues if they are excluded from knowledge creation and subordinated within it by the way we impose gender on sexuality. Put it on a Likert scale.

  • 10. Zoe Brain  |  17 February 2011 at 7:14 am

    Great analogy re Athens and Ankara.

    And just like the Turkish/Greek border, there’s been a lot of blood spilt.

    The biggest challenge Intersexed Advocacy Groups face is trying to stop doctors from “normalising” Intersexed babies. Because they get it wrong 1 time in 3, and the child has surgically-induced transsexuality as the result. It would be 1 in 2, but there’s some fuzziness at the boundaries.
    Just wait till at most age 7, and the kid will tell you what sex they are. Some identify as neither.

    As for Irigay… anyone who claims E=mc^2 is a sexed equation because it privileges one speed, the speed of light, is irretrievably anti-scientific and pomo.

  • 11. David Hoopes  |  17 February 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I think Michael has quite a future in this discipline. I could translate Dostoevsky from Russian to English faster than I could learn all this jargon. (I can barely read Russian).

  • 12. David Hoopes  |  17 February 2011 at 12:44 pm

    What’s sad is that there are issues well worth pursing regarding sexuality in the academy. But, it just gets buried in all this.

  • 13. fabiorojas  |  17 February 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Under no circumstances should you publically declare that you are thinking about not teaching this article.

  • 14. Lasse  |  18 February 2011 at 1:54 am

    I wouldn’t dare. No way.

  • 15. Henri  |  18 February 2011 at 3:24 pm

    One ponders what drives these people. I know some critical scholars who genuinely care about others, but if the author really wanted to make a difference in the world (s)he (btw, is this allowed?) would write in understandable English.

    I guess it is safe to assume that the function of this jargon is to hide the lack of real insight?

  • 16. FC  |  19 February 2011 at 1:12 pm


    How dare you privilege the sighted bodies of the hegemonic majority over the ideo-matrices of the avant-garde who do not accept “seeing”?

  • 17. Bob from Business Courses  |  22 August 2011 at 3:00 am

    It is sad to know that gender inequality still exists in some countries and affects women’s chances for obtaining good quality education. As far I know, business courses in Australia offer equal opportunities for both men and women alike.

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