Weird Ways of Normalizing: Queering Diversity Research through Norm Critique

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    This chapter conceptualizes the research practice of norm critique as an orientation in the world with methodological implications. It argues that to be norm-critically oriented is about nurturing bodily and spatial awareness. In analyzing empirical material about disclosure of sexuality in a Danish workplace context, the chapter illuminates the diversity work of non-conforming bodies that inhabit normative organizational spaces differently and shows how analytical attention to social norms can nuance perceptions about sexuality in organization(s). It complicates common-sensical (mis)understanding of disclosure automatically leading to inclusion of non-heterosexual employees. And it challenges the explanatory apparatus of homophobia, suggesting instead that the heterosexual employees’ double standards and derogatory language directed at their non-heterosexual colleagues are better explored as shaped by heteronormativity. The chapter reviews and situates norm critique within literature on social norms in organization and diversity management studies. The author calls for norm-critical reflection upon researcher positionality, that is, the normative assumptions informing research practice, and, conclusively, evaluates strengths and weaknesses of norm critique in addition to discussing its ethics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Organizational Diversity Research Methods
    EditorsSine Nørholm Just, Annette Risberg, Florence Villesèche
    Number of pages14
    Place of PublicationNew York
    Publication date2021
    ISBN (Print)9780367211486
    ISBN (Electronic)9780429265716, 9780429556234
    Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Published online: 14 October 2020

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