The organisation of sexuality and the sexuality of organisation: A genealogical analysis of sexual ‘inclusive exclusion’ at work

Priola, Vincenza; Lasio, Diego; Serri, Francesco and De Simone, Silvia (2018). The organisation of sexuality and the sexuality of organisation: A genealogical analysis of sexual ‘inclusive exclusion’ at work. Organization, 25(6) pp. 732–754.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1350508418790140

Abstract

This article problematises sexual inclusion in the workplace by theorising the social and historical processes that underpin heteronormativity in organisations. Drawing on a genealogical analysis of sexuality and inclusion in four Italian social firms that support the work and social integration of disadvantaged individuals, the article provides an in-depth analysis of the historical conditions affecting the management of sexualities in organisations. The analysis exposes the fragility and contradictory character of the notion of inclusion by illustrating how efforts to ‘include’ are often grounded on normative principles. It also shows how heteronormativity works, in practice, to moderate different modalities of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer inclusion, recreating hierarchies and binaries within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals. The article discusses how the power of heteronormativity produces specific meanings of inclusion within which some lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer workers are included and normalised, and others remain excluded because they do not conform to normative conventions and flaunt their ‘diversity’. The necessity of taking a queer perspective on ‘inclusion’ that scrutinises the heteronormative logic is also discussed. The article concludes by shedding light on how, within a heteronormative regime shaped by neoliberal predicaments, ‘inclusive’ organisations might continue to exclude lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals.

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