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Sexuality and sexual symbolism as processes of gendered identity formation An autoethnography of an accounting firm

Sexuality and sexual symbolism as processes of gendered identity formation An autoethnography of... Purpose – The aim of this paper is to critically evaluate sexuality and sexual symbolism within the organisational culture of an accounting firm to explore how it is implicated in processes of gendering identities of employees within the firm. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses a reflexive autoethnographical approach, including short vignettes, to analyse the inter‐relationships between gender, sexuality and power. Findings – By exploring the symbolic role of artefacts, images, language, behaviours and buildings in creating and maintaining gendered relations, male sexual cultures and female sexual countercultures, the paper finds that sexual symbolism in this accounting firm entwines gendered power and domination, practice and resistance, in complex cultural codes and behaviours. It draws out implications for organisations and accounting research. Originality/value – The paper extends current conceptualisation of gendered constructs in accounting to include sexuality; applies organisational and feminist theory to autoethnographical experience in accounting; and contributes a seldom‐seen insight into the organisational symbolism and culture of a small accounting firm, rather than the oft‐seen focus on large firms. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal Emerald Publishing

Sexuality and sexual symbolism as processes of gendered identity formation An autoethnography of an accounting firm

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal , Volume 26 (3): 25 – Mar 22, 2013

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0951-3574
DOI
10.1108/09513571311311865
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to critically evaluate sexuality and sexual symbolism within the organisational culture of an accounting firm to explore how it is implicated in processes of gendering identities of employees within the firm. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses a reflexive autoethnographical approach, including short vignettes, to analyse the inter‐relationships between gender, sexuality and power. Findings – By exploring the symbolic role of artefacts, images, language, behaviours and buildings in creating and maintaining gendered relations, male sexual cultures and female sexual countercultures, the paper finds that sexual symbolism in this accounting firm entwines gendered power and domination, practice and resistance, in complex cultural codes and behaviours. It draws out implications for organisations and accounting research. Originality/value – The paper extends current conceptualisation of gendered constructs in accounting to include sexuality; applies organisational and feminist theory to autoethnographical experience in accounting; and contributes a seldom‐seen insight into the organisational symbolism and culture of a small accounting firm, rather than the oft‐seen focus on large firms.

Journal

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 22, 2013

Keywords: Gender; Sexuality; Symbolism; Accounting firm; Autoethnography; Culture; Identity; Feminism; Accounting

References