Constructing a ‘Different’ Strength: A Feminist Exploration of Vulnerability, Ethical Agency and Care

Janet Johansson*, Alice Wickström

*Tämän työn vastaava kirjoittaja

Tutkimustuotos: LehtiartikkeliArticleScientificvertaisarvioitu


This article explores how ethical agency, as ‘other-oriented’ caring, emerged from feelings of being ‘different’ in a cultural organization by drawing on feminist ethics of care. By analyzing interview material from an ethnographic study, we centralize the relationship between feelings of being ‘different,’ vulnerability and the development of sensibilities, practices and imaginaries of care. We elaborate on how vulnerability serves as a ground for caring with rather than for others, and illustrate how it allowed individuals to challenge both organizational, normative diversity discourses and essentialization of differences. We contribute to the literature on critical diversity management by furthering problematizations of instrumental diversity management from the perspective of care, and to the organizational literature on feminist care ethics by empirically exploring how ethical agency emerges from tensions related to feeling ‘different.’ While previous studies have shown how marginalized individuals use their sense of ‘otherness’ to negotiate, conform to and resist organizational norms, practices and discourses, we provide further insights on how it also can drive concern and care for others, and thus serve as possible ground for ethical change initiatives within organizations.

JulkaisuJournal of Business Ethics
DOI - pysyväislinkit
TilaSähköinen julkaisu (e-pub) ennen painettua julkistusta - 23 huhtik. 2022
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Julkaistu artikkeli, soviteltu


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