Parenthood Demands: Resisting A Dystopia In The Workplace

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The problem Parenthood is a high impact, and culturally divisive issue; its influence over organisational life is as normalised as the negative consequences for working parents. The parental problem is indicative of patriarchal cultures idolising ‘hegemonic masculinity’ (HM) (Connell, 2005), which privileges masculine careers (Acker & Dillabough, 2007). Such hegemonic problems demand radical, multifaceted approaches to re-imagine patriarchal organisational cultures; this is where dystopian fiction can help. Dystopian Subversion This paper uses Dystopian Fiction (DF) to offer a manifesto of five demands (adapted from ‘The Children of Men’ by P.D. James, 1992), as a speculative future for new conceptions of parenthood. Drawing on masculinities theory (Connell, 2005) and feminist manifestos, the paper problematizes current parental decisions in the context of DF examples of hegemonic masculinity. The paper’s ‘scriptology’ (Rhodes, 2019) incorporates DF and authorial reflexivity to subvert HM and imagine the future. The demands promote a reconceptualization of existing problems affecting working parents towards equitable change. Five Parental Demands 1. Openly negotiate and make transparent organisational parental policies 2. Strengthen civil rights for marginalised mothers 3. Abolish the silencing of fathers in fertility discourse 4. Stop ’deporting’ mothers out of their career paths 5. End the anticipatory discrimination of potential mothers
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2020
EventBritish Academy of Management: Conference in the Cloud - Online
Duration: 2 Sept 20204 Sept 2020


ConferenceBritish Academy of Management
Internet address


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