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Nurturing Bodies: Exploring Discourses of Parental Leave as Communicative Practices of Affective Embodiment

  • Sine N. Just
  • Robyn V. Remke
Chapter

Abstract

Focusing on discourses of parental leave, we explore how certain bodies became visible and valuable in work contexts, whereas others are neglected/rejected. To this end, we study “the work-body relation as an indeterminate symbolic-material object constituted in communication” (Ashcraft, Knowing work through the communication of difference: a revised agenda for difference studies. In: Mumby DK (ed) Reframing difference in organizational communication studies: research, pedagogy, practice. Sage, Los Angeles, pp. 3–30, 2011). And we develop a conceptual framework for analyzing communicative practices of affective embodiment, understood as patterned utterances that endow specific relations between discourses and materialities with affective charges (intensity and valence). Such practices, we argue, constitute the individual and collective identities involved; they enable (and delimit) the embodiment of parental leave. We explore four such embodiments to illustrate how parenting and parental leave has not only become more visible and viable for some employees but also continues to be a privilege not available to all.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication and ArtsRoskilde UniversityRoskildeDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Leadership and ManagementLancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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