Weird Ways of Normalizing: Queering Diversity Research through Norm Critique

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Abstract

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
PublisherRoutledge
Publication date2020
Pages59-72
Chapter6
ISBN (Print)9780367211486
ISBN (Electronic)9780429265716
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Cite this

Christensen, J. F. (2020). Weird Ways of Normalizing: Queering Diversity Research through Norm Critique. In S. N. Just, A. Risberg, & F. Villesèche (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Organizational Diversity Research Methods (pp. 59-72). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429265716-7