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Gender, class and bureaucratic power. The production of inequalities in the French civil service

Abstract : This article examines the logics behind the tenacious persistence of gender inequalities in French civil service careers, based on 95 biographical interviews conducted with civil servants in upper-middle management and executive positions between 2011 and 2013. The study combines attention to the consequences of the organizational context with analysis of the interplay between gender and class, particularly focusing on how managers and executives appropriate equality policies. While family background has differential impacts on women’s and men’s educational paths and orientations, we find that governmental administrative bureaucracies also make strong contributions to the production of such differences through the rules and norms that equality policy struggles to change, especially in a time of austerity and deepening “new public management” reforms. While most managers and executives of both sexes tend to deny the organizational and social causes of inequality, the diffusion of egalitarian norms fosters the expression of gender consciousness by a minority of women, and reshapes mainstream managerial masculinities and femininities.
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Anne Revillard, Alban Jacquemart, Laure Bereni, Sophie Pochic, Catherine Marry. Gender, class and bureaucratic power. The production of inequalities in the French civil service. Revista Internacional de Organizaciones, 2018, 20 (20), pp.39-57. ⟨10.17345/rio20.39-57⟩. ⟨halshs-01962195⟩



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