Gender, Sexuality and Violence in Organizations: The Unspoken Forces of Organization Violations


Jeff Hearn & Wendy Parkin

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    This book is dedicated to Sajid Khan (1974–99), a gentle man and friend, and to Anna and Sebastian

    List of Figures and Tables

    • 3.1 Levels of violations 74
    • 4.1 Poyner and Warne's model of violence in the workplace 80
    • 4.2 Scenarios for incidents involving agents who have no legitimate nexus to the organization 80
    • 4.3 Scenarios for incidents where the agent is the receiver of some service provided by the organization 81
    • 4.4 Scenarios for incidents where the agent is in some form of employment relationship (past or present) with the affected workplace 81
    • 4.5 Enabling, motivating and triggering factors in the work environment explaining workplace bullying 84
    • 4.6 Types of organizational orientation to violation 92
    • 2.1 The gender order, the economic and the political 26
    • 3.1 Incidence of sexual harassment by country and by sex in north-west Europe 56
    • 3.2 Studies on the prevalence of ‘mobbing’/bullying 64
    • 3.3 Conventional categories of violation in organizations 72
    • 4.1 Main invariant/constrained and manipulable organizational contextual factors emerging from current literature and research 82


    We are very grateful for a number of collaborations that have contributed to the development of this book – in particular, those with David Collinson, Margaret Collinson, Lorraine Green, Jalna Hanmer, Elizabeth Harlow, Marjut Jyrkinen, Anne Kovalainen, Mary Maynard and David Morgan. We are also indebted to Sari Carpentier for her assistance with the review of Finnish and Swedish research and policy literature. We thank Donna Hughes, Denise Salin and Pernilla Gripenberg for sharing ideas and information, Joanne Deakin for work on an early literature search, and Celia Davies, Jean Neumann and anonymous reviewers of Human Relations for detailed comments on an early presentation of some of these ideas (Hearn, 1994). We also thank anonymous reviewers of the initial proposal for this book for their helpful suggestions. A number of seminar, conference and other presentations have been made on this material, and we are grateful to all who have commented on these occasions. Thanks are offered to participants at the Gender Research Seminar at UMIST, January 1992, for their very helpful comments on some tentative first thoughts on this area.

    The writing of the book was greatly assisted by generous research funds from the Donner Foundation of Åbo Akademi University (1997–8), the Academy of Finland (1997, 1998–9) and the University of Huddersfield Research Support Fund (1999). The second of these fundings was part of the research programme, ‘Images of Women's Health: Social Construction of Gendered Health’. We thank all colleagues and students at the Universities of Bradford, Huddersfield, Manchester and Åbo Akademi who assisted in the development of this project. Particular thanks are offered to Elianne Riska, Solveig Bergman, Harriet Silius and all in the sociology doctoral research seminar at Åbo. The final stages of writing were completed whilst Jeff Hearn was Guest Professor at the Work Research Centre, University of Tampere, and the Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Helsinki, and additional thanks are extended to Emmi Lattu, Guje Sevón, Ingmar Björkman, Tuula Heiskanen, Päivi Korvajärvi and colleagues there. Anne Elton at the University of Huddersfield Library, and Teemu Tallberg and Hannele Varsa provided bibliographic assistance, for which we are very grateful.

    Special thanks are offered to Karen Phillips, Lauren McAllister and all at Sage.

    We thank Liisa Husu and Malcolm Parkin for everything.

    We are grateful to the following for permission to reproduce figures and tables from:

    Poyner, B. and Warne, C. (1986). Violence to Staff: A Basis for Assessment and Prevention. London: Tavistock Institute of Human Relations/Health and Safety Executive.
    Salin, D. (1999). Explaining Workplace Bullying: a Review of Enabling, Motivating, and Triggering Factors in the Work Environment. Helsinki: Meddelanden Working Papers, Svenska handelshögskolan.
    Standing, H. and Nicolini, D. (1997). Review of Workplace-related Violence, Contract Research Report 143/1997. London: HSE.
    Timmerman, G. and Bajema, C. (1999). Sexual harassment in Northwest Europe. The European Journal of Women's Studies, 6, 419–39.

    Introduction: The Unspoken within Organizations

    Organizations persist through unspoken forces. Many of these forces are matters of gender, sexuality, violence and violation. There is, without doubt, a very wide range of ways in which organizations and organizational worlds exist in relation to gender, sexuality, violence and violation. Indeed what we call organization is often infused with gender, sexuality and violation – hence the concepts of organization gender, organization sexuality (Hearn and Parkin, 1987, 1995) and organization violation.

    So what is the unspoken? And how are these silences, silencings, recognitions, disappearings and surfacings maintained? To speak (of) the unspoken is to make concrete silences that persist in and indeed comprise organizations. These silences include the very conceptualization of organization itself; the general understandings of how organizations are gendered; the specific structuring of organizations; and construction of gendered subjects in organizations (Harlow et al., 1995). Noise, din, silence and silencing, as part of the unspoken forces of organizational worlds, are thus gendered. Both literally and metaphorically, they are part of the gendered domination of organizations:

    … ‘din’ is literal and metaphoric, with the literal din of machinery being enhanced by the metaphoric din of ownership and supremacy through numbers and structures. Silence too is literal, though it is important to separate out silence through choice from being silenced through intimidation, threat, exclusion, marginalization and put-downs. Din and silence are not seen as exclusively opposite, for silence can be imposed through silent bullying and coercion, which is really din, and the din of oppressed groups whose grievances fail to be heard is actually silence. (Harlow et al., 1995: 96)

    Silence may mean the absence of noise and be part of the plight of the oppressed but can also be part of domination, as in managerial silences to requests to be heard and demands for change.

    Our emphasis on the reproduction of organization through silence stands in tension with those social constructionist approaches that have come to interpret discourse as talk, speech and text. Whereas Michel Foucault, whatever the gendered inadequacies of his texts (Hearn and Parkin, 1987: 169), was at pains to describe and explore the intricacies of discourse as power/knowledge and power/resistance, some subsequent writers have tended to reduce discourse to that which is spoken and hearable, written and readable. This book is about the speaking of those unspoken forces, the making of the invisible visible and the less known more fully known. We are interested in the reconstruction of the silent, unspoken, not necessarily easily observable, but fundamentally material reality of organizations. We do not take the view that silence means either consent or absence of ideas or idealism. There is no sense of ‘spirit’ in our concern with silence.

    The exact ways in which this silent materialism operates are clearly rather different for different facets of social reality. Let us take the example of violence. The occurrence of violence, that is, the doings of violence, in the past or the present or as future threat, are material in their practice, their effects, their structurings and their ‘accumulations’ over time. Violence not only brings the direct effects of direct damage, it also brings less direct effects, simply through the memory of previous actual or possible violences. Once violence has been done, including being threatened, an innocence has been lost – so that mere reference to that violence (verbally, by a look, or a slight movement or some other cue or clue) may be enough to invoke and connote violence, and thus the modification of material behaviour. Violence, like violation more generally, exists also in its recognition. But the more recognized violences of harassment, bullying and physical violence are only part of the wider violations of organizations. These also include more structured oppressions and more mundane violations of everyday organizational worlds.

    Furthermore, the social and technological changes that appear to be affecting what we may call the gender–sexuality–violation complex in work organizations are changing and in somewhat contradictory ways: they may produce workplaces that are ever more like fortresses; they may produce calming environments within them; and workers may be increasingly given the responsibility to monitor their own behaviour in the most minute ways. Perhaps violence and potential violence at workplaces are paradoxically creating both more docile workers and more active citizens.

    These matters demand attention to a very diverse set of concerns, including cultural and historical recognitions; diverse discursive representations; methodological problems; social scientific explanations of phenomena; and political agendas to reduce and stop violation in and around organizations.

    This book is organized in seven broad chapters. Eight sets of focus material on specific examples of ‘violations in organizations’ are included. The first two chapters provide a conceptual and historical background. Chapter 1 includes a critical introductory overview of current thinking around organizational worlds, gender, sexuality and violence, and their relations to each other. It explores the ways in which organizations are gendered, sexualed1 and made arenas of violence and violation, and how these in turn relate to other social divisions. In Chapter 2 we outline the historical location of organizations in time, and the relevance of this for understanding organizations as gendered, sexualed, violent and violating. This emphasizes the context of the structural power of (certain) heterosexual men and their relationship with the dominant social, economic and political orders. We thus critically examine, first patriarchy, then capitalism, and third the nation-state, as sedimented historical frameworks for understanding gender relations within contemporary organizations. This is illustrated by two sets of historical focus material: on organizational heterosexualities in the nineteenth-century Industrial Revolution, and state and other organizational responses to men's violence to women and children.

    Chapters 3 and 4 address respectively the practical and the theoretical recognition of violation in organizations. In Chapter 3 we discuss the recent growth of practical concerns about and recognition of sexual harassment, bullying and physical violence within organizations. This draws on a range of sources, including journalistic ones, to demonstrate the tension between the unspokenness of the forces of gender, sexuality, harassment, bullying and violence and attempts to speak out about them. Harassment, bullying and physical violence have usually been categorized separately without reference to each other, and this itself contributes to resistance to their being heard. Sexual harassment is clearly perceived as gendered, but bullying and physical violence do not necessarily involve recognition of gendered dimensions. Four sets of focus material are provided here – on the police, business, the military and air travel. The links between gender, sexuality, harassment, bullying and violence are examined as part of the more general concept of organization violation. Organization violations are conceptualized as spanning structural oppressions and mundane everyday violations in organizations. This recognizes that all these categories are violations of the person. Organizations provide an important key to the maintenance, reproduction and silencing of such violations. Chapter 4 examines theorizing on violence and violation in organizations. Organization violations are examined at macro, meso and micro levels, in relation to patriarchal social relations, capitalist social relations and relatively local cultural, nationalist, ethnic and other exclusionary social relations, as introduced in Chapter 2.

    Chapters 5 and 6 examine two contrasting forms of organization that cut across these macro, meso and micro levels: the closed organization in relative isolation, and the transformation of organizations in the globalizing world. Thus Chapter 5 focuses on the closed organization in comparative isolation, with given boundaries and the intensification of internal organizational processes. Extended focus material on children's homes and other institutions demonstrates how such institutionalized settings may facilitate the regular violations of the person combined with their silencing through the stigmatized status of resident. By contrast, Chapter 6 focuses on the transformation of boundaries, boundarylessness and pervasive, expanding organizational forms, which in turn demand new ways of understanding. This is illustrated by focus material on the global ‘sex industry’. These two chapters are not simply a restatement of the established contrast between closed and open organizations or systems; it is a contrasting of difference, of two forms that are not opposites.

    The final chapter addresses the implications of these matters for politics and policy, in social theory and knowledge formation; organizational, management and legal policy, including cyberpolicy; and the politics of risk and of oppression. We conclude with a discussion of the need for violation-free organizations and workplaces.

    This book can be read in several ways. After the first chapter, there are several options. If your main interest is history, then proceed to the next chapter; if it is the contemporary processes of recognition of violations in organizations, then Chapter 3 might be a place to begin; if it is theory that interests you most, then Chapter 4 is suggested. Those concerned with total institutions and similar organizations or with globalization and ICTs might prefer Chapters 5 or 6 respectively. Or you can begin at the end with politics and policy and work backwards! We hope you find the book useful, whatever your concerns, and we welcome feedback (http://jeff.hearn©, http://p.w.parkin©

  • Notes


    1. By ‘sexualed’ we mean how a particular interpretation is given sexual meaning or meaning in terms of sexuality. This might even include the apparent absence of sexual meaning, just as ‘gendered’ also might refer to the apparent absence of gendered meaning. We use this as distinct from ‘sexual’ which means pertaining to sexuality, or ‘sexualized’ which carries the connotation of having been given heightened sexual meaning, that is becoming sexual ‘in’ meaning.

    1. For example, Eichler, 1980; Carrigan et al., 1985; Connell, 1987.

    2. The expansion of this area of study has been marked by the foundation of the journal Gender, Work and Organization in 1994. Since then a number of other journals have been established, including Gender, Technology and Development and the International Review of Women and Leadership. The considerable growth of research and published material over the last twenty years is such that, if we were to re-read all the material in our collection, we would never start to write. So now when we write on this subject, we have to be very selective.

    3. See Marx and Engels, 1970. The theme of the social context of organizations recurs not only in modernist, critical and feminist traditions, but also in poststructuralist and postmodernist approaches to organizations.

    4. ‘Both sexes actually receive very similar genetic instructions … even for the features that tell them apart. … both sexes receive sets of instructions dealing with breast development, but in only one sex are the instructions acted upon. The same applies for all the other physical characteristics, which obviously distinguish men from women: genitals, shape, muscle growth, voice-box development, body hair and so on’ (Nicholson, 1993: 12). For up to 6–7 weeks' gestation female and male embryos have externally identical genitalia – after that specific sexed development occurs. At every stage for the human the basic pattern is female away from which development proceeds to produce the male. The embryo will be female unless it has a Y chromosome. (In birds the opposite is true – the basic pattern is male and females are the departure from this.) While (social) sex is usually assigned by external examination, it is the analysis of chromosomal structure that provides the primary sex, in cases of doubt. However, these issues are complicated by a host of bio-cultural complications around the notion of ‘sex’ itself. These are both individual (for example, Eva Klobukowski, a ‘woman’ at the 1964 Olympics failed chromosomal tests in 1967) and societal (in some small societies ‘girls’ may turn to become ‘boys’ at puberty). It is worth noting that at the 1992 Winter Olympics women were tested for the presence of Y chromosome, and this was opposed by 22 French biologists and geneticists on the grounds that it was discriminatory to women (Nicholson, 1993: 16).

    5. See, for example, Maccoby and Jacklin, 1974; Jacklin and Maccoby, 1975; Durkin, 1978.

    6. There are a number of distinct problems with ‘Masculinity–Femininity Scales’ (see Eichler, 1980). These include: the general relationship between M–F Scales and Sex Role Stereotypes; the use of narrowly culturally specific statements in their construction (for example, ‘In American society, how desirable is it for a man to be …’); the obscuring of the relation between cultural ideals and actual practices; the neglect of differences depending on which gender is assessing which gender; the bias of using college students; the selectivity of items used (40 out of 400). Additionally, these kinds of approaches to ‘gender’ represent in effect self-ratings of subjects measured against stereotypes of the judges, ossified into scales, so that concepts predefine and reify gendered reality.

    7. Primary sex characteristics generally refer to chromosomal structure. Secondary sex characteristics include: gonadal structure (ovaries/testes); internal genital ducts (fallopian tubes and uterus/vas deferens and prostate); external genital development (vagina, vulva, clitoris/penis); hormonal structure (preponderance of oestrogen and progesterone, or androgens, including testosterone); presence/absence of breasts; and presence/absence of certain body hair. There are also major chromosomal variations beyond the main XX and XY types, with 15 additional types of intersexuality. Intersexual people were sometimes in the past told that they had been assigned to the ‘wrong’ sex/gender. Not surprisingly such news sometimes brought major psychological reactions, distress, mental illness, even suicide. For the last twenty-five years or more it has been recognized in medical cytogenetics that gender/social sex and psychological sex/gender identity are matters of upbringing. Furthermore, the differential hormonal levels of females/males are in fact ‘average’ levels, with both ‘sexes’ having ‘female’ and ‘male’ hormones. Oestrogen and testosterone levels are only slightly higher in females than males, outside of ovulation. It is not uncommon for females to have higher androgens than the average male, and, of course, hormonal levels can be changed by intervention. Henriques et al. (1984: 21–2) note the example of Puerto Rican girls sexually maturing from 6 months, with full breast development at 4 years because of excess of oestrogen through chicken diet (cited in Edley and Wetherell, 1995: 36).

    8. Categoricalism refers here to the use of fixed categories of gender in theorizing and analysing gender and gender relations (Connell, 1985, 1987).

    9. For example, Walby, 1986, 1990; Hearn, 1987, 1992b.

    10. For example, Ekins and King, 1996; Kulick, 1998.

    11. Citing Edwards, 1989.

    12. Citing Evans, 1994.

    13. Citing Jay, 1981; Lloyd, 1989; Butler, 1990; Grosz, 1994; Moore, 1994.

    14. Citing Harding, 1986; Fitzsimmons, 1989; Haraway, 1990; Soper, 1995.

    15. For example, there has been the establishment of the journal Body and Society.

    16. See Kakar, 1970; Morgan, 1986: 204–8; Hearn, 1992b: 246.

    17. This gendered/sexualed reinterpretation of Human Relations Theory is presented in more detail in ‘Sex’ at ‘Work’ (Hearn and Parkin, 1987: 21–9).

    18. For example, Adler and Izraeli, 1988, 1994; Walby, 1990; Cockburn, 1991; Witz, 1992; Savage and Witz, 1992; Mills and Tancred, 1992; Davidson and Burke, 1994, 2000; Reskin and Padavic, 1994; MacEwen Scott, 1994; Due Billing and Alvesson, 1994; Wilson, 1995; Collinson and Hearn, 1996; Oerton, 1996a, 1996b; Rantalaiho and Heiskanen, 1997; Alvesson and Due Billing, 1997; Wilson, 2001.

    19. Ferguson's (1984) The Feminist Case Against Bureaucracy, a classic text in this debate, has been subject to further feminist critique by Due Billing (1994).

    20. See Ferguson 1984; Bologh 1990, Morgan, 1996.

    21. These features are discussed in a broader context in Harlow et al., 1995.

    22. For example, Quinn, 1977; Horn and Horn, 1982; Gray, 1984; Schneider, 1984.

    23. For example, Saghir and Robins, 1973; Chafetz et al., 1974; Bell and Weinberg, 1978; Brooks, 1981; Schneider, 1981, 1984; Levine and Leonard, 1984.

    24. For example, Campaign for Homosexual Equality, 1981; Beer et al., 1983; GLC, 1985; Taylor, 1986.

    25. For example, Hearn and Parkin, 1987, 1995; Hearn et al., 1989; Pringle, 1989.

    26. While the legal definition of ‘sex’ has a very long history (for example, Temkin, 1987), the question of what constitutes ‘sex’ and ‘sexual relations’ has taken on even greater precision and obscurity with the legal and journalistic investigations of the Clinton–Lewinsky saga (see Symposium, 1999).

    27. See, for example, Hearn and Parkin, 1983, 1986–7; Green et al., 2000.

    28. Hearn and Parkin, 1987: 61, 98, 102–3, 148–9, and elsewhere.

    29. This is distinct from ‘organizational sexuality’ – which is a term we have specifically criticized as unsatisfactory, as it privileges one term over the other.

    30. For example, Hearn and Parkin, 1987, 1995; Hearn, 1992b.

    31. In addition, these critiques of heterosexuality lead to the consideration of questions of the relation of surface/appearance and reality/knowledge – whether this is in terms of the specifics of the sexuality of dress (Hearn and Parkin, 1987: 149–50; Sheppard, 1989) or the general epistemological significance of looks and appearance for the analysis of gender (Hearn, 1987: 11–15).

    32. See, for example, Hanmer et al., 1994; Hearn, 1994; Itzin, 1995; Collinson and Collinson, 1996.

    33. See Litewka, 1977; Coveney et al., 1984; Buchbinder, 1987; Kelly, 1988.

    34. Harassment can be seen as ‘repeated and persistent attempts by one person to torment, wear down, frustrate or get a reaction from another’ (Bast-Petterson, 1995: 50).

    35. For example, Iris Marion Young (1990) has explicated a plural categorization of oppression: exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism and violence. In contrast, Nancy Fraser (1997: 44–9) has outlined a concept of gender equity that encompasses a plurality of seven distinct normative principles: antipoverty, antiexploitation, income equality, leisure-time equality, equality of respect, antimarginalization, and antiandrocentrism.

    36. The negative health effects of violations, oppressions and discriminations are being increasingly recognized, though still relatively unexplored. Landrine and Klonoff (1997) suggest that it is the presence and exposure to sexist acts rather than women's subjective appraisals of those acts which is the best predictor of women's negative symptoms. Krieger and Sidney (1996), from a survey of 4,000 black and white young adults in the USA, report that blood pressure was highest for working-class black adults who accepted discrimination as ‘a fact of life’ or who denied they experienced discrimination. It was lower for people who challenged unfair treatment. Feagin and Sikes (1994) in Living with Racism report relatively high levels of hypertension, angina and gastrointestinal ailments for black workers.

    1. See Hearn, 1992b; Itzin, 1995; Rantalaiho, 1997.

    2. See O'Brien, 1981, 1986; Hearn, 1987, 1992b; Ferguson, 1989.

    3. For example, Beechey, 1979; Rowbotham, 1979; Barrett, 1980; also see Atkinson, 1979.

    4. These various critiques can also be understood in relation to the academic and political attacks on structuralist, especially Althusserian, Marxism, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which itself can be seen as part of the reformulation of the European Left and the development then of Eurocommunism, in partial autonomy from Soviet and Chinese communism. They can also be seen as prefiguring the breakdown of the Soviet bloc in the late 1980s.

    5. Similar contrasts have been made between family and social patriarchy (Eisenstein, 1981), private appropriation and collective appropriation (Stacey and Davies, 1983), personal and ‘structural’ forms of dominance, patriarchy and reorganized patriarchy (Holter, 1984) and private dependence and public dependence (Hernes, 1987).

    6. Cited in Duncan, 1994, 1995; Rantalaiho, 1997.

    7. This kind of complex analysis of differentiated patriarchies and the organizations within them is similar to earlier distinctions that have been made between gendered structures, cultures, social action, and identities in organizations (see Acker, 1992).

    8. The journal, Feminist Economics, has also now been established. There are also clear signs of this development in the UN's recent gendered evaluations of work and time-use worldwide (Human Development Report, 1996, 2000). These insights have many significant implications for rethinking in gendered terms both societal economic systems and the organizations within them.

    9. See O'Brien, 1981, 1986; Hearn, 1983, 1987.

    10. For example, McKee and O'Brien, 1982; Gillis, 1985.

    11. Such features of quarternary industry are discussed further in Chapter 6 in relation to new technology, the sex industries and globalization.

    12. See Hearn and Parkin, 1987, 1995; Acker, 1990, 1992.

    13. Cited in Walby, 1986: 116.

    14. Cited in Fowler, 1985.

    15. A number of rather similar incidents, including the prosecution and dismissal of a head carder for his sexual pressurizing and assault on young women under his authority in Oldham, Lancashire, in 1887, have been examined by Lambertz (1985).

    16. For example, Hartmann, 1979; MacKinnon, 1982, 1983; Pateman, 1988; Lister, 1997.

    17. See Hartmann, 1979; MacKinnon, 1983; Hearn, 1992b: 240–1.

    18. This and the next two paragraphs draw on Hearn, 1992b, and Tilly, 1992.

    19. A rather different approach to violence and death has been put forward by Amartya Sen in ‘More than 100 million women are missing’ (Sen, 1990) and elsewhere. Patterns of female mortality in many parts of the world suggest that pervasive discrimination against women (and especially girls) deprives them both of adequate food and basic health care (Nussbaum, 1992: 43). And nation-states are a fundamental part of both the cause and the possible amelioration of this dire situation.

    20. Citing Herby, 1998.

    21. Citing

    1. We are particularly grateful for discussions with David Collinson, Margaret Collinson and David Morgan on this section. Also see Hearn, 1998: 202–3.

    2. See Honneth, 1992, 1995; Fraser, 1995, 1997.

    3. Plummer (1995: 23–4) has recognized the accumulation of stories-telling by individuals, which then come together in interactive social worlds and public groupings, so providing possible ‘negotiated networks of collective activity’ for those of like mind or experience. Such social movements in effect provide new social infrastructures, and thus changing possibilities and categories of experience for those who follow historically.

    4. The first study of sexual harassment at workplaces in Sweden was launched in 1987 by the Equality Ombudsman. The study, FRID-A KvinnoFrid i Arbetslivet (1987), conducted by Hagman (1988), brought to light the widespread harassment of women in Sweden. The most commonly used term in Swedish of ‘sexual harassment’ is ‘sexuella trakasserier’ (FRID-A, 1987; Adrianson, 1993), as in other Nordic languages. Norwegian researchers have used the definition “uonsket seksuell oppmerksomhet” (unwanted sexual attention), emphasizing the element of unwantedness, as in many UK definitions. Arguably, the Norwegian term, ‘sexuella trakasserier’, is such a strong expression that it easily labels the subject as a victim, and may even lead to a victim-identity (Sørensen, 1990: 19, cited in Varsa, 1993: 11–12).

    In the working group of the Finnish Council for Equality there was considerable discussion of the Finnish translation of ‘sexual harassment’. ‘Harassment’ was translated as ‘häirintä ja ahdistelu’. ‘Häirintä’ comes from the verb ‘häiritä’, ‘disturb, cause inconvenience’, and ‘ahdistelu’ from ‘ahdistella’, molest, harass. In the USA the history of the word ‘harassment’ has connected with that of racial discrimination and discussion on human rights. In English, for example, one might say: ‘Don't harass me!’. In the Finnish language there is no corresponding utterance. In the opinion of the working group of the Finnish Council for Equality, the terms ‘häirintä’ and ‘ahdistelu’ were the closest ones. Both terms were taken into use because the word ‘häirintä’ alone sounded too mild, while ‘ahdistelu’ alone was too strong.

    There was also much discussion of whether it was better to talk about ‘seksuaalinen’ or ‘sukupuolinen’ harassment (seksuaalinen = sexual, sukupuoli = sex/gender, suku = kin/family, puoli = half). The phenomenon has usually to do with ‘häirintä’ and ‘ahdistelu’, the origin of which is sexual – that is, sexuality as a medium – but not necessarily so. The phenomenon does not necessarily have to be restricted to that. Talking about ‘sexual’ may produce an image that feeds the sexual desire of the harasser. However, this is not how it often is, for example when a group of heterosexual men tease a heterosexual man that he is gay. Sexuality is used as a medium, but it is not necessarily a question of anyone's sexuality. So that the phenomenon would be framed widely enough, the Finnish working group concluded with the term ‘sukupuolinen’. There is also a theoretical reason for choosing the concept of ‘sukupuolinen’. When the phenomenon has been highlighted in different parts of the world, it has at first been associated with sexuality. With more research, the more other related issues have come into the picture and become the subject of research, for example the control of women. Thus ‘sukupuolinen’ describes the phenomenon better, linking harassment to a much wider set of gender debates (Varsa, 1993: 11–12). These examples show the subtleties of linguistic difference: it is not possible to simply read off meanings from different languages directly; interpretation and cultural context are especially important.

    5. For example, Farley, 1978: 54–60; Smith and Gray, 1985; Fielding, 1994.

    6. Gregory and Lees (1999) also explore situations where trainee women train drivers were subjected to vicious forms of harassment when they moved from the female servicing jobs to enter the male preserve of driving.

    7. As Coveney et al. (1984) note, hierarchy and dominance may be subject to eroticization for men.

    8. Franks also makes the point that the dominant belief is of equality of opportunity rather than outcome. She goes on to say: ‘So the credo goes that so long as the system makes sure there is fairness at the outset, it does not matter if the market allocates winners and losers.’

    9. Similar issues have been explored by Cockburn (1991) on ‘short agenda’ and ‘long agenda’ changes, comparing organizational responses to equal opportunities policies from tokenistic responses to more significant policies for change.

    10. Such policies stand in contrast to those attempts to recruit (usually senior and often male) staff through ‘spousal’ (usually heterosexual) hiring policies which are in use in the USA and elsewhere.

    11. See, for example, Farley, 1978; MacKinnon, 1979; Hearn and Parkin, 1987, 1995; Collinson and Collinson, 1989.

    12. This word is similar to the English ‘mobbing’, although in English it has rather different connotations: first, it is not generally used of human beings, but rather for animals, for example, birds; and second, it means to ‘crowd round in order to attack or admire’ (Schéele, 1993: 11). In Swedish the word means also bullying by one person. The Swedish ‘mobbning’ was mainly used initially in relation to bullying at schools, until it began to be used in relation to adults, ‘vuxenmobbning’ (Leymann, 1986). This is quite like the use of the word ‘bullying’ in English and ‘kiusaaminen’ in Finnish. The use of ‘mobbing’ in English might give one to understand that it is a question of many people attacking one person; this would be a misconception. The word ‘mobbning’ is best translated as bullying, rather than ‘mobbing’, except when the researcher her/himself uses the English word mobbing (see Leymann, 1990). The concept of ‘psychological violence’, ‘psykiskt våld’, is also used.

    Schéele (1993) explains two other terms often used in Swedish literature: ‘utstötning’ and ‘utfrysning’. The former, which means ‘pushing out’ or ‘expulsion’, consists of active, destructive, harmful treatment towards one person. The latter could be literally translated as ‘freezing out’. It consists mostly of behaviour that demonstrates the supposed insignificance of the person. According to Schéele, these are the main types of ‘kränkande särbehandling’ (Schéele, 1993: 14). This term means ‘hurtful, harmful, insulting or violating treatment’ and is widely used in Sweden. In the literature (for example, Leymann, 1988, 1992a), the word ‘utslagning’ is also widely used as a synonym for the word ‘utstötning’.

    In Finnish, the word ‘kiusaaminen’ is used in the context of workplace violence in the literature (for example, Lindroos, 1996; Tasala, 1997), as is the term ‘henkinen väkivalta’ (see Vartia and Paananen, 1992; Vartia and Perkka-Jortikka, 1994), which means ‘psychological violence’. As noted, ‘kiusaaminen’ is the equivalent of ‘bullying’. ‘Kiusaaminen’ was previously used of children, usually in schools as ‘koulukiusaaminen’ – bullying at school – but nowadays the concept ‘työpaikkakiusaaminen’, which means ‘bullying at work’ or ‘(general) workplace harassment’, is widely used.

    13. In this book Field (1996) uses he/him to refer to men and women. He also considers bullies seem to prefer same-sex victims, speculating this is because one knows one's own gender best and bullies are keen to avoid the Sex Discrimination Act.

    14. In a landmark case (Walker vs Northumberland County Council, 1995) a social services manager, who had two nervous breakdowns due to work intensification, was awarded considerable damages (£175,000) by an industrial tribunal after the council was found in breach of its duty of care (Carty, 1996).

    15. Cited by Hickling, 1999.

    16. Poyner and Warne, 1986, 1988; Joeman et al., 1989; Phillips et al., 1989; Hodgkinson and Stewart, 1991; HSE, 1992; Suzy Lamplugh Trust, 1994.

    17. A summary of organizational policies on violence among trade unions, local authorities and other organizations is by NALGWC (n.d.).

    18. General collections include the OECD Panel Group on Women, Work and Health (Kauppinen-Toropainen, 1993), and the Proceedings of the Nordic Workshop on Research on Violence, Threats and Bullying as Health Risks Among Health Care Personnel (Bast-Pettersen et al., 1995) which reviewed the detailed research in health and related organizations. Also see Appelberg (1996) on the impact of interpersonal conflicts on health, psychiatric morbidity and work disability; and Eklund (1996) on the health risks of conflict and harassment, specifically muscular-skeletal shoulder problems.

    19. Research in central Scotland with over 3000 pupils aged between 11 and 16 from schools found that over one in three boys and one in 12 girls said that they had carried a weapon (McKeganey and Norrie, 2000).

    20. Discussion of some of the recent cases involving famous sportsmen in the USA, as well as the more general issue, is included in Crosset, 2000; Steinberger, 2001. Also see DeKeseredy, 1990.

    21. In April 2000 French driving-test examiners called a day of action against the growing number of assaults from failed customers (Henley, 2000).

    22. While violation in travel, and indeed in stopping travelling, is clearly not new, the growth of more complex and more globalized travel, as in air travel, may be leading to changing forms of violation in and around transport organizations. This could be an important area for future research.

    23. Citing 1993 information from Statistiska Centralbyrån, (Statistics Sweden).

    24. The ILO estimates that 160 million people develop occupational diseases and 250 million suffer workplace injuries every year.

    25. The UK legal framework of violence at work is surveyed in Leighton, 1999.

    26. This echoes Gutek and Cohen's (1987) analysis of how working men are described having totally work-orientated descriptions and working women are described by personal and sexual attributions.

    27. See, for example, French, 1995; Brooks-Gordon, 1995; Collinson and Hearn, 1996; Cheng, 1996.

    28. See Hearn, 1994; this approach parallels that of ‘organization sexuality’.

    1. See Bauman (1989) on the Holocaust, and the use of instrumental rationality (in preference to substantive rationality) to transform people into dehumanized objects; the creation of social distance between perpetrators and victims; and the allowing of victims to participate in the decisions that adversely affect them. Accordingly, Marsden and Townley (1999: 418) write: ‘The Holocaust illuminates the rationality of all modern modes of organizing.’ Also see Sievers (1995) on work and death, and Burrell (1997: chs. 4–5) on organizations, abattoirs, death, pain and disease.

    2. Much of it, like the classic work of Gouldner, Merton and Selznick, is set within a distinctly non-gendered, neo-Weberian framework (see Morgan, 1996).

    3. An invaluable summary of comparable economic, political and organizational changes is provided by David Harvey (1990).

    4. This is a theme that has been debated from at least the 1960s.

    5. There are many different possible starting points and many debates in analysing power. First, Clegg (1989) begins his critical survey of theories of power by identifying two crucial and distinct traditions: those of Hobbes and Machiavelli. Hobbes has personified that tradition that asks: what power is; Machiavelli the tradition that asks: what power does.

    Second, in both of these perspectives on power, but especially the first, there is often an assumption of the possession of power. In the latter tradition, the question of possession of power is more problematized as power processes or political processes. Thus we can contrast the possession of power and the process(es) of power. The social bases approach to power relate to the social bases of the possession of power (French and Raven, 1959; also see Morgan, 1986). In contrast, a process approach is less concerned with who it is that possesses power, and more with the development and change in patterns of power over time, regardless of who might ‘possess’ that power.

    Third, a number of writers have contrasted having (capacities) and doing power (exercising). Wrong (1979) identifies dispositional (having) and episodic (exercising) forms of power. Clegg also identifies: dispositional (based on capacities) and episodic (agency), as well as facilitative forms of power. Episodic Power involves doing power, exercising power, power based on agency/intention and power based on the effective utilization of resource control or possession (Clegg, 1989: 84). It is closely equivalent to Lukes's one-dimensional approach to power, which itself draws on Dahl (1957). Such a view of power involves an ability to get another person to do something that he/she would not otherwise have done. Dispositional power, on the other hand, involves having power or the potential of power, but not necessarily using power, a set or sets of capacities/processes, recurrent tendencies of human beings to behave in certain ways (Clegg, 1989: 83). This raises the question of power potential. This fits closely with Weber's notion of domination, and has been elaborated further by Wrong. Weber defines power as ‘the probability that an actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance, regardless of the basis on which this probability rests.’ Weber distinguished power (Macht) from other forms of social control in which cooperation is present. Thus in the exercise of power, resistance and conflict are common or probable. This conception of power involves a process of overpowering. Weber illuminates aspects of power that would remain obscure in a strict Dahlian approach. We might also ask: does dispositional power underly episodic power? Or does it arise from episodic power, so producing non-decisions, hegemony, structures, even discourse? Facilitative Power is proposed in different ways by Parsons, Giddens and Foucault. This refers to the ability to achieve goals, to get things done. Although these are clearly very different kinds of theories, they all consider the productive aspect of power.

    Fourth, we can contrast conscious intention and unconscious action or non-intentional action. Fifth, there is the recurring tension between agency and structure. Bachrach and Baratz (1962) attempt to link agency and structure. In non-decision-making, ‘A devotes his energies to creating or reinforcing social and political values and institutional practices that limit the scope of the political process to public consideration of only those issues which are comparatively innocuous to A’ (p. 948). This produces an organizing in and out of issues. And sixth, we may contrast causal and acausal accounts of power.

    6. Authority is sometimes defined as socially legitimate power, with compliance based on the ‘target's’ perception of the legitimacy of the request.

    7. Some place influence as the general category under which other power relations exist.

    8. While in the 1974 book Lukes addressed ‘objective interests’, he later rejected this along with the idea of transcendental view interests that Habermas advocated.

    9. It is not that there are different types of masculinities and femininities that are seen as ‘natural’ and appropriate in different contexts and cultures but that the dominant forms of masculinities associated predominately with male biological sex and hegemony (and construed in aversion to femininity) are those that dictate how organizations are run (Collinson and Hearn, 1996; Hamada, 1996).

    10. This links with Wardhaugh and Wilding's (1993) propositions that management failure to act, despite numerous complaints from residents and staff, underlaid the corruption of care. They identify particular models of work and organization with professional and hierarchical factors which all form part of the corruption and thus perpetuation of the violences.

    11. Drawing on the work of David Cooper and Franz Fanon.

    12. At each level, and following the framework of Chapter 2, there are important considerations of patriarchy, capitalism and nationalism to be taken into account.

    13. Previously, distinctions have been made between: (i) the place of violence in the context and formation of organizations; and (ii) variations in organizational orientations to violence (Hearn, 1994).

    14. For example, retail (Health and Safety Executive, 1995); finance (Health and Safety Executive, 1993; Loss Prevention Council 1995); social work (Hester, 1994; Balloch, et al., 1995, Bibby, 1995); police (Uildriks and van Mastrigt, 1991).

    15. They are as such not only ‘enabling factors’ for violence (cf. Salin, 1999).

    16. Quoted in Reiman, 1984: 34, cited in Johnson, 1986: 182.

    17. See Kimmel, 1990, for a comparison of boxing and pornography.

    18. See, for example, The Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust 2000, including the testimony of Arno Lustiger (2000), in which he criticizes Bettelheim, Arendt and others, and instead highlights the active resistance of Holocaust survivors.

    19. For further discussion of these and related literatures, see Salin, 1999.

    20. Of the 1045 callers to a trade union bullying hotline in Japan in October 1996, one in seven had attempted or contemplated suicide. One case of suicide followed excessive borrowing and stealing of money by bosses from an employee. Another employee was forced to write out the same report every fortnight, over and over again (Parry, 1997).

    21. Another interesting example, analysed by Pierce (1995), is the construction of ‘Rambo litigators’ in US law firms.

    1. Having said that, care needs to be taken in assuming that there is an automatic correspondence or immediate cause and effect between institutionalization and the institutionalism of secondary adjustments. In some cases these latter actions may be linked to residents' previous institutional or other experiences, their psychological or medical condition, or even their choice of approach (Peele et al., 1977).

    2. Bauman (1989) also speaks of the role of bureaucracy in seeking to silence moral considerations and adjust human actions to an ideal of rationality.

    3. Cited in Wardhaugh and Wilding, 1993: 6–7.

    4. Wardhaugh and Wilding also distinguish two different scandals in such settings, one in children's homes and one in long-stay hospitals. The ‘Pindown’ regimes were used to control difficult teenage behaviour and were seen as the acceptable policy goals of securing a desired change in behaviour but they led to violence judged to be ‘intrinsically unethical, unprofessional and unacceptable’ (Levy and Kahan, 1991: 167). This differs from violence in the long-stay hospitals which was unrelated to policy objectives and a clear betrayal of the ethic of care and respect for others within the institutions (Martin, 1984).

    5. Cited in Aitkin and Griffin, 1996: 79.

    6. Studies of the abuse of older people have often focused on violence in the home by relatives or strangers. Analyses of abuse of older people suggest that the majority is by men to women (Penhale, 1993; Aitkin and Griffin, 1996; Whittaker, 1996; Hearn, 1999).

    7. This links with Wardhaugh and Wilding's (1993) propositions on the neutralization of moral concerns: ideological violence dehumanizes a group of people who can then be seen as less sentient and beyond the bounds of moral behaviour.

    8. Some similarities can be noted with Menzies's (1960) study of routinization amongst nurses.

    9. Catherine Bennett's study (1994) found that only 36 per cent of older people in residential homes claim to have made a choice themselves and 60 per cent had not visited any other home before admission. For nearly two-thirds, the choice of a home – ‘the home that is no home’ – had been taken from them (cited in Aitkin and Griffin, 1996: 88). This is also relevant when considering violations in children's homes.

    10. This affirms Wardhaugh and Wilding's (1993) propositions, particularly on power and powerlessness.

    11. Lee-Treweek's (1997) study of women care auxiliaries in a nursing home highlights the way in which paid carework has been marginalized within the sociology of work, though an increasingly important form of employment for women, with increasing private provision of care.

    12. In the report allegations were made of abuse in six local authority community children's homes, an assessments centre, private residential establishments and five foster homes.

    13. This echoes the suppression of student nurses' complaints about violence to patients at Whittington Hospital over a four-year period in the 1960s (Martin, 1984). The student nurses feared victimization when threatened with legal action if they continued. This affirms Wardhaugh and Wilding's (1993) observations that strong group loyalty can stifle criticism and complaints especially in inward-looking organizations.

    14. The ideological division between public and private would relegate issues of gender and sexuality, along with caring and emotional expression, to the private domains of the family, leaving the public world as the domain of the masculine, rational and politics (Clark and Lange, 1979; Parkin, 1989; Hearn, 1992b; French, 1995).

    15. Until the 1980s there was little recognition of issues around sexuality in children's homes and little training and research on them. Keith White (1987) raised the issue in respect of the care of adolescents: ‘what is perhaps not realized by those who have not experienced the group care situation first hand is how much of daily living and planning revolves around the issue of sexual behaviour, taboos and fears. Any member of staff at any time is worried about being alone with a child’ (p. 54).

    16. Managing Residential Care (Burton, 1998) does not include ‘gender’ in the index, and there is only one page refering to sexuality, with one mention on that page (p. 39).

    17. Stacey and Davies (1983) recognized this anomaly in health settings. They recognized that some settings were clearly neither public nor private forms because of their ambiguous location between the two, thus constituting an ‘intermediate zone’. This reflects Goffman's observation that ‘total institutions then are social hybrids, part residential community, part formal organization, and therein lies the sociological interest’ (1969: 316).

    18. This resembles statements from the inquiries into violence in long-stay hospitals where one inquiry report stated that ‘in such conditions staff can become as institutionalized as patients’ (Martin, 1984: 13).

    19. On one occasion the researcher was locked in a room with a group of children and felt considerable frustration at not being heard by staff and released, thus causing her to be late for another appointment. She realized the negative ways in which she wanted to respond were not much different from some of the ways the children were behaving and reacting. These difficult behaviours were usually perceived by staff as ‘being out of control’, ‘committing misdemeanours’ or ‘in the blood’ rather than forms of revolt and resistances to institutionalized practices, particularly around divisive cultures between staff and residents (Parkin and Green, 1997a). Past abuse or rebellion against institutionalized regimes was rarely seen as a way of understanding behaviours which were more often interpreted as evidence of children's disturbance or inherent, individual deviance.

    1. Cited in Wright, 1998.

    2. This use of ‘culture’ or ‘cultural sensitivity’ in organizations and management can be usefully reinterpreted within the context of more general political debates on the various forms of multiculturalism, less or more radical, and their critique (see, for example, McLaren, 1998).

    3. Similar interpretations could be developed in relation to other social divisions, for example age or disability.

    4. Similarly, while theories of globalization have become ever more popular as frames of reference for the contemporary social sciences, the theme of globalization is itself part of the dominant problematic of the modern social sciences from at least the works of Saint-Simon, Marx, Durkheim and Weber (Waters, 1995: 5–7).

    5. There is a complex contradiction between the critique of grand narrative within postmodernism (following Lyotard) and the reassertion of the grand narrative as in the postmodern political economies of ‘globalization’. This highlights the fundamental (one might say foundational) contradictions of postmodernism that are exposed by and within post-colonial theory and practice.

    6. For example, one of the most comprehensive recent gendered syntheses of globalization is Peterson and Runyan's (1999) Global Gender Issues. Their perpsective is usefully supplemented by the more theoretical discussions of Gibson-Graham (1999) in The End of Capitalism (as we knew it) and the more practical reviews contained in Date-Bah's (1997) edited collection Promoting Gender Equality at Work. Other relevant texts that gender globalization in different ways include Mies, 1986, 1998; Grant and Newland, 1991; Fernandez Kelly, 1994; Waylen, 1996; Mir et al., 1998.

    7. Combining the ratios between females:males for these four measures provides the GDI (Gender-related development index); this can then in turn be compared with the non-gendered HDI (Human development index). The figues for the top five, and lowest three on the Gender-related development index range from Canada with a GDI of .932, Norway .932, USA .927, Australia .927, and Iceland .925, to Niger with a GDI of .280, Burkino Faso .290, Ethiopia .297, Guinea–Bissau .298, and Mozambique .326 (Human Development Report, 2000).

    8. The Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) combines the proportions of women in these four political and occupational positions. Norway scores highest here with .825, followed by Iceland with .802, Sweden .794, Denmark .791 and Finland .757. At the lower end of the scale we find Niger with .119, Jordan .220, Egypt .274, Bangladesh .305, and Sri Lanka .309 (Human Development Report, 2000).

    9. This GEM measure is far less comprehensive than the GDI, with data missing for 70 countries out of the 174 countries listed for the former, as opposed to 31 missing entries for the latter.

    10. For a critique of globalization in terms of human rights and sexual exploitation, see Santos, 1999.

    11. Cited in Tsoukas, 1999: 511.

    12. ‘In 1996, the total revenues of the 500 largest companies globally were $11.4 trillion, total profits were $404 billion, total assets were $33.3 trillion and the total number of employees was 35,517,692’ (according to Fortune Magazine, cited in ILO, n.d.: 2).

    13. Branko Milanovic, Principal Economist at the World Bank Research Department, has calculated that inequality, as measured by the Gini index using household survey data in over 100 countries, increased from 63 to 66 from 1988 to 1993. The comparable figures for the USA are an index of 35 and for Finland 25 (Milanovic, 2000). Additionally, these concentrations are also reflected in individual wealth accumulation. In the USA the top 1 per cent of earners have doubled their incomes in the last 20 years. The wealth of Bill Gates, the Walton family and the Sultan of Brunei is greater than the combined national income of Angola, Bangladesh, Nepal and 33 other countries. A yearly contribution of 1 per cent of the wealth of the 200 richest people would give free primary education to every child in the world (Elliott, 1999).

    14. There is now an extensive global campaign against the corporate practices of Nike. These have been especially active on some US university campuses, so much so that the corporation has withdrawn its sponsorship of some college sports teams (Campbell, 2000b).

    15. We are particularly grateful for work with Anne Kovalainen which has informed this section (see Hearn and Kovalainen, 2000).

    16. Farrelly (1998) has reported on the targeting of multinational executives for kidnapping and ransom in parts of Asia, South America and Eastern Europe, and the associated insurance industry. Hiscox of Lloyds report 4,040 kidnappings in Colombia, 656 in Mexico and 523 in Brazil in 1991–8. ‘Typical insurance cover might mean a premium of $12,000 for each $1million, the usual limit.’

    17. The private sector global defence and security industry comprises about 300 companies, serving corporate and governmental clients. Prominent businesses include Military Professional Services (MPRI) of Alexandria, Virginia, which boasts ‘more four-star generals than the Pentagon’ and ‘in 1995 managed a small war for the hitherto struggling forces of Croatia’, and the UK-based Control Risks and Defence Systems (DSL) which draws on SAS and other elite veterans, and specializes in ‘protection packages’ (Fox, 1998).

    18. Another rather different set of violations is reported in relation to the Gerber Corporation:

    … Gerber Products Company has been under fire from the [US] Center for Science in the Public Interest and others for diluting its baby foods with water, sugar and chemically modified starch. Buckling under mounting consumer and government pressure, Gerber now says it is reformulating its best-selling 2nd-Foods Bananas with Tapioca and a number of other products so as to eliminate those fillers. But Gerber, which controls 69 per cent of the USA market, and other non-organic baby foods still contain pesticides, according to a report from the Environmental Working Group. The report, ‘Pesticides in Baby Food,’ found 16 different pesticides in eight major foods, including three probable human carcinogens, five possible human carcinogens, five pesticides that disrupt the hormone system and eight nervous system toxins. (

    There are many other examples of corporate ignoring of health risks, ranging from tobacco companies to food and medicines. On the case of the Dow Corning Corporation's ‘corporate crime against women’, with their manufacture and promotion of silicone breast implants despite the known health risks, see Chapple, 1998. For examples of dangerous and degrading work practices in companies in China, Vietnam and Thailand producing toys for McDonald's and Disneyland, see Santos, 1999.

    19. They draw their information from that on the list-serve for the European Network on Conflict, Gender and Violence on that day.

    20. Similar differentiations can also be made in relation to other social divisions, including class, education and world region.

    21. We are particularly grateful for work with Marjut Jyrkinen which has informed this section (see Hearn and Jyrkinen, 2000).

    22. An especially interesting and destructive example of ‘the power of love’ was the worldwide spread of the ILOVEYOU computer virus in May 2000 which led to $1billion of damage. The fact that the virus spread so rapidly is testimony to the power and promise of those words rather than simple money.

    23. This and the following extracts in this section are from Hughes (1997). A similar version of this paper is published in Hughes, 1999.

    24. Similar uses have been made of Antigua's offshore banking regime for establishing Internet pornography business (Miller, 2000).

    25. We are indebted to Pernilla Gripenberg for clarifying the application of Tsoukas's framework to ICTs.

    26. Quotation from Donna Hughes; see note 23.

    1. Human rights legislation is part of UK law from October 2000. This adds to EU antidiscrimination laws in the Treaty of Amsterdam and other administrative measures.

    2. This is in keeping with the European Convention on Human Rights. The UK legislation and the ECHR has multiple implications for gender, sexuality and violation, in providing for freedom of expression, privacy of home life and protection against discrimination in the enjoyment of those rights. For example, this facilitates less censorship of violent or pornographic videos under the rules of ‘freedom of expression’. It also provides gays and lesbians with equal privacy rights to heterosexuals, so that it might be illegal to expel young people over 16 for having sex within an educational or similar residential institution.

    3. For an invaluable resource on the legal and policy aspects of the Internet from a civil liberties perspective in the European context, see Liberty, 1999.

    4. The Bristol case involved heart surgeons operating on children leading to an unusually high death rate. Attention was drawn to this by a whistleblowing colleague who was subsequently unable to obtain work in the UK, leading to his decision to move to Australia.

    5. The Shipman case involved a Lancashire GP convicted of murdering older women in his practice.

    6. The professional project is a gendered one with professionalism ‘drawing on and affirming a particular nineteenth-century notion of bourgeois masculinity’ (Davies, 1996; also see Witz, 1992).

    7. The term ‘political correctness’, Hopton (1997) argues, has attracted negative comment from both sides of the political spectrum leading to a discourse of ridicule constructed via the tabloid newspapers, politicians, dramatists and authors which legitimates one point of view and distracts attention from alternative discourses. The alternative discourse would recognize that language which continually stigmatizes a person causing distress and low self-esteem is a form of structural discrimination or violation, and the way to alleviate such mental distress is to focus on social and political structures rather than presume individual pathology. He argues that political correctness should be part of looking ahead to a society where ‘substantive equality is achieved through the institutionalization of sensitivity to the social, cultural and psychological needs of people whose culture and social and political experience is considerably different from one's own’ (p. 55).

    8. See Hearn, 1992b, 1999b.


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