Un/doing chrononormativity: negotiating ageing, gender and sexuality in organizational life

K. Riach, N. Rumens, M. Tyler

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    This paper is based on a series of ‘anti-narrative’ interviews designed to explore the ways in which lived experiences of age, gender and sexuality are negotiated and narrated within organizations in later life. It draws on Judith Butler’s performative ontology of gender, particularly her account of the ways in which the desire for recognition is shaped by heteronormativity, considering its implications for how we study ageing and organizations. In doing so, the paper develops a critique of the impact of heteronormative life course expectations on the negotiation of viable subjectivity within organizational settings. Focusing on the ways in which ‘chrononormativity’ shapes the lived experiences of ageing within organizations, at the same time as constituting an organizing process in itself, the paper draws on Butler’s concept of ‘un/doing’ in its analysis of the simultaneously affirming and negating organizational experiences of older self-identifying LGBT people. The paper concludes by emphasizing the theoretical potential of a performative ontology of ageing, gender and sexuality for organization studies, as well as the methodological insights to be derived from an ‘anti-narrative’ approach to organizational research, arguing for the need to develop a more inclusive politics of ageing within both organizational practice and research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1677-1698
    JournalOrganization Studies
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


    • age
    • Butler
    • chrononormativity
    • gender
    • LGBT sexualities
    • performativity


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