Increasingly, women and minorities are entering fields where white male power is firmly entrenched. The spaces they come to occupy are not empty or neutral, but are imbued with history and meaning. This groundbreaking book interrogates the pernicious, subtle but nonetheless widely held view that certain bodies are naturally entitled to certain spaces, while others are not.
Drawing on case studies from within the nation state, including Westminster and Whitehall, the art world, academia and everyday life, this book uncovers the hidden processes that undermine female and/or racialized bodies in spaces marked by masculinity and whiteness. How are positions of authority racialized and gendered? How do people manage their femininity and/or blackness while in a predominantly white male context? How do spaces become naturalized or normalized, and what does it mean when they are disrupted?
Answering these questions and many more, this book is the first to examine the meaning of diversity in organizations in its absolute complexity. It argues that a thorough engagement with difference requires a rigorous investigation of how institutional cultures become normative. It is only when we see and name this invisible central point of reference, which is so often taken for granted, that we can we truly unsettle long established links. Uniting social, cultural and political theory, and engaging with a range of substantive material from a variety of institutions, this book is a timely contribution to wide-reaching debates on race, gender and space.