Thursday, 13 September 2018

Work as a Masculinity Contest

Journal of Social Issues Original Article Jennifer L. Berdahl Marianne Cooper Peter Glick Robert W. Livingston Joan C. Williams First published: 13 September 2018 Cited by: 4 This article is part of the Special Issue “Work as a Masculinity Contest,” Jennifer L. Berdahl, Marianne Cooper, and Peter Glick (Special Issue Editors). For a full listing of Special Issue papers, see: Abstract We propose that a key reason why the workplace gender revolution has stalled (England, 2010) is that work remains the site of masculinity contests among men. In this article, we outline a theoretical framework for thinking about work as a masculinity contest, beginning with a brief review of scholarship on masculinity and exploring how the workplace is a context in which men feel particular pressure to prove themselves as “real men.” We identify different dimensions of masculinity along which employees may compete and how the competition may differ by work context. We propose that organizations with Masculinity Contest Cultures (MCCs) represent dysfunctional organizational climates (e.g., rife with toxic leadership, bullying, harassment) associated with poor individual outcomes for men as well as women (e.g., burnout, low organizational dedication, lower well‐being). We discuss how papers in this special issue contribute insight into MCCs and end with a discussion of the contributions made by conceptualizing work as a masculinity contest, and directions for future research.