Reading between the lines: gender, work and history The case of the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union

Reading between the lines: gender, work and history The case of the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of history in the creation of gender dynamics at work. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on an ANTi‐history – which draws on actor‐network theory (ANT) – and critical sensemaking framework, the authors analyze a written history of a teachers' union to examine how historically contextualized networks of actors shape notions of gender. Findings – The findings support the notion of history as socially constructed story telling, which serves to shape rather than describe gendered relations at work. Research limitations/implications – The research is limited to archival materials as the participants are not available as direct informants. Archives by their nature are incomplete and some accounts are summaries. Practical implications – Understanding the socially constructed role of history will help management educators and practitioners to examine historical accounts as part of the problem of gendered relations. The paper reinforces the notion that understanding of discrimination may be lost as power imbalances are written out of historical accounts in the attempt to be politically correct. Originality/value – The paper's contribution to research lies in its application of new methods of historical analysis (namely, ANTi‐history and critical sensemaking) and a focus on history as a powerful sensemaking device that shapes on‐going sensemaking. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management History Emerald Publishing

Reading between the lines: gender, work and history The case of the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1751-1348
DOI
10.1108/17511341211188664
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of history in the creation of gender dynamics at work. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on an ANTi‐history – which draws on actor‐network theory (ANT) – and critical sensemaking framework, the authors analyze a written history of a teachers' union to examine how historically contextualized networks of actors shape notions of gender. Findings – The findings support the notion of history as socially constructed story telling, which serves to shape rather than describe gendered relations at work. Research limitations/implications – The research is limited to archival materials as the participants are not available as direct informants. Archives by their nature are incomplete and some accounts are summaries. Practical implications – Understanding the socially constructed role of history will help management educators and practitioners to examine historical accounts as part of the problem of gendered relations. The paper reinforces the notion that understanding of discrimination may be lost as power imbalances are written out of historical accounts in the attempt to be politically correct. Originality/value – The paper's contribution to research lies in its application of new methods of historical analysis (namely, ANTi‐history and critical sensemaking) and a focus on history as a powerful sensemaking device that shapes on‐going sensemaking.

Journal

Journal of Management HistoryEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 6, 2012

Keywords: Management history; Gender; Organizational politics; Trade unions; Historical periods; Education; Canada

References

  • Making sense of sensemaking: the critical sensemaking approach
    Helms Mills, J.; Thurlow, A.; Mills, A.J.

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