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Title:Gender and topic management in discourse: the glass ceiling as a reality for women in corporate Kenya
Author:Yieke, Felicia A.ISNI
Periodical:Stichproben - Vienna Journal of African Studies
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:gender relations
women managers
External link:http://stichproben.univie.ac.at/fileadmin/user_upload/p_stichproben/Artikel/Nummer13/Nr13_Yieke.pdf
Abstract:This paper describes the workplace situation in Kenya in relation to gender and discourse. Although there are many reasons why many women never make it beyond middle management level, the paper identifies discursive practices as obstacles and discriminative practices that women have to deal with in their upward mobility in the workplace, which has traditionally been a male dominated domain. Specifically, this paper explores topic organization as an important aspect of conversation management and control. This is looked at within the context of Management Committee meetings within the workplace, which few women actually have the privilege to attend and participate in due to their corporate positioning. The author therefore investigates how topics are selected and changed within institutional discourse in an asymmetrical fashion that is dependent on gender and/or status. This is discussed with 'real' data from fieldwork collected in the Management Committee meetings within three corporate firms visited in Kenya. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is used as an interpretative framework in looking at gender and the discursive practices whereas Conversation Analysis (CA) is also used as both theory and method of data analysis in looking at the turn taking processes involved. Amongst other things, it was found that men raised more topics, changed more topics, women supported men's topics and yet their own topics never went far. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]