Nurturing Bodies: Exploring Discourses of Parental Leave as Communicative Practices of Affective Embodiment

Sine N. Just*, Robyn V. Remke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Focusing on discourses of parental leave, we explore how certain bodies became visible and valuable in work contexts, whereas others are neglected/rejected. To this end, we study “the work-body relation as an indeterminate symbolic-material object constituted in communication” (Ashcraft, Knowing work through the communication of difference: a revised agenda for difference studies. In: Mumby DK (ed) Reframing difference in organizational communication studies: research, pedagogy, practice. Sage, Los Angeles, pp. 3–30, 2011). And we develop a conceptual framework for analyzing communicative practices of affective embodiment, understood as patterned utterances that endow specific relations between discourses and materialities with affective charges (intensity and valence). Such practices, we argue, constitute the individual and collective identities involved; they enable (and delimit) the embodiment of parental leave. We explore four such embodiments to illustrate how parenting and parental leave has not only become more visible and viable for some employees but also continues to be a privilege not available to all.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiversity, Affect and Embodiment in Organizing
EditorsMarianna Fotaki, Alison Pullen
Number of pages21
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date6 Dec 2018
ISBN (Print)9783319989167
ISBN (Electronic)9783319989174
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes

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