Sarah GilmorePsychoanalysis, Sex, Sexuality and Gender in Organisation Studies


Gender, Psychoanalysis and Organisation



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Gender, Psychoanalysis and Organisation

Given the rich sources of theoretical approaches to gender and psychoanalytical theory, there appears to be much potential to explore gender in organisations from a psychoanalytical perspective. This stream seeks to bring together theorists who will explore the implications of the range of psychoanalytic readings for contemporary organizations.

We are interested in exploring the difficulties many gender theorists and feminists have with psychoanalytical readings and what this critique contributes to our understanding of psychoanalytic approaches for understanding organizations. Other sorts of questions to be pursued include for example:


  • To what extent are gender identifications being used and assumed by organizational actors to facilitate outcomes that serve the organization and what can psychoanalytical theory add to the analysis?

  • In what ways may the psyche work to facilitate organisational gendering, and what potential for exploitation and resistance thus arise?

  • What are the distinctions and inter-relationships between sex, sexuality and gender within organisations?

In addition, we would welcome papers that:



  • Revisit core psychoanalytic themes such as hysteria, identification, Oedipal conflicts, narcissism, the primal scene and others not only to re-evaluate their contribution but to explore the ways in which such concepts provide a lens to understand and evaluate organizational action and experiences.

  • Examine the ways in which different approaches towards infant emotional development connect (or fail to connect) with issues of sex, sexuality and gender and how they are conceptualised.

  • Discuss the implications of the primacy of object relations approaches especially in the UK, and other post Freudian developments in understanding the implications of difference concerning sexuality.

  • Explore the implications of the recent psychoanalytic focus in terms of clinical work with borderline patients and its relevance for critical studies of organisations.

  • Evaluate the contribution of recent revitalisation of interest in the areas of mentalization, developmental psychology and attachment theory (e.g. Fonagy et al., 2002, Fonagy and Target, 2002; Fonagy and Bateman, 2004; Green, 1986), and their challenges in thinking in the domain of sexuality.

These are only some of the ways in which psychoanalytically-informed theories of sex, sexuality and gender in organisations may be explored. This call for papers is not prescriptive – we welcome proposals that pursue a broad range of questions in the bringing together of psychoanalytic and gender theories to the critical study of organisations and their management. To this end, we invite abstracts (maximum 1000 words, A4 paper, single spaced, 12 point font) to be submitted to us by 1st November 2008, via sarah.gilmore@port.ac.uk.




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