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Policy and the pregnant body at work: strategies of secrecy, silence and supra-performance

Gatrell, C J (2011) Policy and the pregnant body at work: strategies of secrecy, silence and supra-performance. Gender, Work and Organisation, 18 (2). pp. 158-181. ISSN 0968-6673

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Abstract

This article considers how women manage their pregnant bodies at work. Through netnographic research and drawing upon feminist discussions of the leaky pregnant body, I examine the experiences of US and UK women who correspond on interactive websites or chat rooms. Drawing upon ‘expert advice’ and the experiences of employed pregnant women in this study, I suggest that the bodily manifestations of pregnancy are taboo in some workplaces. I note how these women did not appear to draw upon policy as a resource for dealing with negative reactions to pregnancy from colleagues and employers. Instead, they tended to adopt strategies of secrecy, silence and supra-performance in order to try and blend in. In the context of these strategies, I demonstrate how women’s attempts to manage and control their bodies are severely compromised during pregnancy, when the body may be leaky and unpredictable

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Gender, Work and Organisation
Uncontrolled Keywords: body ; pregnancy ; secrecy ; silence ; supra-performance ; workplaces
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: Lancaster University Management School > Management Learning & Leadership
ID Code: 45129
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 11 Jul 2011 19:27
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 19:12
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/45129

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