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Narratives of sex-segregated professional identities

McEntee-Atalianis, L. & Litosseliti, L. (2017). Narratives of sex-segregated professional identities. Narrative Inquiry, 27(1), pp. 1-23. doi: 10.1075/ni.27.1.01mce


This article highlights the significance of small story analysis for the identification of positioning acts which function as rhetorical warrants for career choices and trajectories. It analyses stories told by Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) investigating the tensions expressed in the negotiation and performance of their gendered professional identities. Identity work is achieved via accountability and orientation to: past and present self; interlocutors within the interaction; and “master narratives” about gendered work. Small stories act as a medium of professional identity construction, rapport-building and as a site of contestation, employed to (re)appraise the social order, particularly with respect to “women’s” and “men’s” work. Gendered discourses are shown to impact on the amount of men entering the SLT profession and the specialisms and progression routes that men and women pursue. The analysis points to the reproductive, pervasive and regulatory power of gendered discourses on individuals’ experience of their subjectivity and professional identity.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2017 John Benjamins Publishing. The publisher should be contacted for permission to re-use or reprint the material in any form.
Publisher Keywords: gender identity, narratives, professional identity, sex-segregated professions, Speech and Language Therapy, small stories, small story analysis, stance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
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