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``When and where I enter'': Adding in black women's insights to critique organization studies

Purdue University
Publication Date
  • Black Studies|Sociology
  • Theory And Methods|Women'S Studies|Speech Communication
  • Linguistics
  • Literature


Life in the contemporary U.S. is structured by the organizations that humans collectively think into existence and reproduce. It is therefore crucial to study them, not with the goal of making them more effective and efficient, but to interrogate their taken-for-granted qualities so that oppressive conditions can be transformed. I focus here on rewriting blackness in organizations. The feminist gendering organizations literature suggests that rewriting gender in organizations can be done through the modernist strategy of "adding in" women's voices and the poststructuralist feminist strategy of critiquing what has been seen as organizational discourse. In this project I introduce a black (postmodern) feminism which I draw on to critique both the gendering organizations literature and the mainstream organization studies literature on race. I then add in the voices of black women organization scholars. I conclude by adding in the voices of community black women whose insights are based on such different assumptions and priorities that they challenge the very basis of organization studies as it is currently practiced. In this way adding in becomes critique, thus overcoming the false distinction between the two strategies. ^

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