Gender as Symbolic Capital and Violence: The Case of Corporate Elites in Turkey

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Yamak S., ERGUR A. , Ozbilgin M. F. , Alakavuklar O. N.

GENDER WORK AND ORGANIZATION, vol.23, no.2, pp.125-146, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/gwao.12115
  • Page Numbers: pp.125-146


Based on a Bourdieusian approach, drawing on qualitative analyses of 63 life interviews, our study demonstrates that gender is performed as both symbolic capital and violence by corporate elites within the dominant ideologies of patriarchy and family in Turkey. Our analysis reveals that, in the male-dominated context of Turkey, female elites appear to favour male alliances as a tactical move in order to acquire and maintain status in their organizations, whereas male elites appear to remain blind to the privileges and constraints of their own gendered experience of symbolic capital and violence. Our study also illustrates that gender order is still preserved, despite beliefs to the contrary that equality in education, skills, experience and job performance may liberate women and men from gender-based outcomes at work.