What if I don't fit? How fat employees become the organizational other through clothing and seating
SourceAcademy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings, 2019, 1, (2019), article 12322
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
SW OZ RSCR CAOS
Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
This paper offers a new materialist perspective on processes of inclusion and exclusion in the professional lives of women who identify as fat. Contemporary ideas about health, size and productivity have resulted in a dominant assumption that a legitimate corporate body needs to be slender - or at least not fat. However, how fat employees are included and excluded in their everyday work context remains understudied. Adopting a new materialist analytical lens, we argue that the fat body is given meaning within organizations via negotiations of the extent to which it literally 'fits in' to everyday objects such as chairs and clothes. We show that fat employees' stories reveal that their basic needs with respect to suitable clothing and adequate seating are made un- or extraordinary by both colleagues and organizational structures, and that this puts them at a disadvantage in the context of their employment. We use the works of Karen Barad and Sarah Ahmed to unpack the intra-actions between material objects, discourses about size and our participants' large bodies, and the role affect plays in these. The article thus contributes to Critical Management Studies' (CMS) recent turn toward examining the intersection between materiality and power relations within organizations.
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) to log in with SURFconext to upload a file for processing by the repository team.