Gender, Work & Organisation

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Volume 22 Issue 3 (May 2015), Pages 197-307

Masculinity and Non‐Traditional Occupations: Men's Talk in Women's Work (pages 273-291)

Occupation segregation is a persistent aspect of the labour market, and scholars have often researched what happens when women and men enter into what are seen to be ‘non‐traditional’ work roles for their sex. Research on men within women's roles has concentrated mainly on the challenges to a masculine identity, while research on workplace language has focused on women's linguistic behaviour in masculine occupations. To date, there has been relatively little research into the linguistic behaviour of men working in occupations seen as women's work (e.g., nursing, primary school teaching). To address this gap, this article focuses on men's discursive behaviour and identity construction within the feminized occupation of nursing. Empirical data collected by three male nurses in a hospital in Northern Ireland is explored using discourse analysis and the Community of Practice paradigm. This paper discusses how the participants linguistically present themselves as nurses by performing relational work and creating an in‐group with their nurse colleagues by actively using an inherently ‘feminine’ discourse style.

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