Two Featured Articles in RSW Available for Members

RSW is happy to report that two featured articles in the current issue of RSW can be freely accessed on the publisher’s website. Below are the titles and abstracts. The first is Robin Leidner’s study of actors holding “survival jobs,” and struggling to maintain their identities as professional actors. The other is David Orzechowicz’s study of a seemingly gay-friendly work culture at a well-known amusement park. Both are provocative pieces that make for interesting reading.  The links should work, or simply point your browser here and scroll for the papers:

Work has historically been an important basis of identity, but the sharp decline in the availability of stable attachments to jobs, organizations, or occupations jeopardizes paid work’s capacity to sustain identity. If avail- able work opportunities are increasingly precarious and short-term, can the same be said for identities? Analysis of the efforts of members of an unusual occupational group stage actors  to support an identity based on unstable work provides insights into the variability and indeterminacy of responses to structural employment uncertainty. Despite manifold identity threats, actors struggle to maintain identity as actors both in others’ eyes and in their own.

Since the 1950s, the closet has been the chief metaphor for conceptualizing the experience of sexual minorities. Social change over the last four decades has begun to dismantle some of the social structures that historically policed heteronormativity and forced queer people to manage information about their sexuality in everyday life. Although scholars argue that these changes make it possible for some sexual minorities to live “beyond the closet” (Seidman, 2002), evidence shows the dynamics of the closet persist in organizations. Drawing on a case study of theme park entertainment workers, whose jobs exist at the nexus of structural conditions that research anticipates would end heterosexual domination, I find that what initially appears to be a post-closeted workplace is, in fact, a new iteration: the walk-in closet. More expansive than the corporate or gay-friendly closets, the walk-in closet provides some sexual minorities with a space to disclose their identities, seemingly without cost. Yet the fundamental dynamics of the closet the subordination of homosexuality to heterosexuality and the continued need for LGB workers to manage information about their sexuality at work persist through a set of boundaries that contain gayness to organizationally desired places.

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