Bodyspace at the pub: Sexual orientations and organizational space

Kathleen Riach, Fiona M Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In this article we argue that sexuality is not only an undercurrent of service environments, but is integral to the way that these workspaces are experienced and negotiated. Through drawing on Sara Ahmed s (2006a) orientation thesis, we develop a concept of bodyspace to suggest that individuals understand, shape and make meaning of work spaces through complex sexually orientated negotiations. Presenting analysis from a study of UK pubs, we explore bodyspace in the lived experience of workplace sexuality through three elements of orientation: background; bodily dwelling; and lines of directionality. Our findings show how organizational spaces afford or mitigate possibilities for particular bodies, which simultaneously shape expectations and experiences of sexuality at work. Bodyspace therefore provides one way of exposing the connection between sexual orientation and the lived experience of service sector work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329 - 345
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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