The politics of (in)visibility displays: Ultra-Orthodox women manoeuvring within and between visibility regimes

Varda Wasserman*, Michal Frenkel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

How does the multiplicity of surveilling gazes affect the experience of employees subjected to a matrix of domination in organisations? Building on a case study of ultra-religious Jewish women in Israeli high-tech organisations, the article demonstrates how the intersectionality of gender and religiosity exposed them to a matrix of contradicting visibility regimes – managerial, peers, and religious community. By displaying their compliance with each visibility regime, they were constructed as hyper-subjugated employees, but simultaneously were able to use (in)visibility as a resource. Specifically, by manoeuvring between the various gazes and playing one visibility regime against the other, they challenged some of the organisational and religious norms that served to marginalise them, yet upheld their status as worthy members of both institutions. Juxtaposing theoretical insights from organisational surveillance and gender studies, the article reveals the role of multiple surveilling gazes in both the reproduction of minorities’ marginalisation, and their ability to mobilise it to maintain their collective identities.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1609-1631
Number of pages23
JournalHuman Relations
Volume73
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

Keywords

  • Gender in organisations
  • identity displays
  • intersectionality
  • marginalisation
  • matrix of domination
  • power and control
  • religion and organisation
  • surveillance and minority groups
  • visibility regime

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