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Self as social practice: rewriting the feminine in qualitative organizational research

By A. Linstead


This paper offers a reflexive discussion of the paradox of researching others and offering to represent multiple voices whilst suppressing the voice of the researcher. Martin’s (2002) injunction to repair research accounts by ‘letting the “I” back in’ is problematised by identifying four typically unacknowledged discursive subject positions which constitute the multiple nature of the “I” in such texts: the empirical ‘eye”, the analytical I, the authorial I and the I as semiotic shifter. It is argued that this shifting multiplicity is stabilised by the relationship between self and research text being corporeally grounded and gendered. From this discussion, three possible approaches to gender are considered: the discursive/textual approach (as developed inter alia by Foucault); the performance/social practice approach (as developed inter alia by Judith Butler) and the corporeal multiplicity approach (as developed inter alia by Elizabeth Grosz and Dorothea Olkowski). The paper concludes by suggesting a tripartite approach to writing self-multiplicity in research which extends the possibilities opened up by the social practice approach: re-citing (redeploying discursive resources in intertextuality); re-siting (changing the positioning of the self in power relations by reinscribing); and re-sighting (opening up new, virtual visions of possibility)

Publisher: Department of Management Studies, University of York
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:2567

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