Inequality Regimes: Gender, Class, and Race in Organizations

Gender and Society 20 (4):441-464 (2006)
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Abstract

In this article, the author addresses two feminist issues: first, how to conceptualize intersectionality, the mutual reproduction of class, gender, and racial relations of inequality, and second, how to identify barriers to creating equality in work organizations. She develops one answer to both issues, suggesting the idea of “inequality regimes” as an analytic approach to understanding the creation of inequalities in work organizations. Inequality regimes are the interlocked practices and processes that result in continuing inequalities in all work organizations. Work organizations are critical locations for the investigation of the continuous creation of complex inequalities because much societal inequality originates in such organizations. Work organizations are also the target for many attempts to alter patterns of inequality: The study of change efforts and the oppositions they engender are often opportunities to observe frequently invisible aspects of the reproduction of inequalities. The concept of inequality regimes may be useful in analyzing organizational change projects to better understand why these projects so often fail and why they succeed when this occurs.

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