The gay subject in business and its discursive formation: an exploration on power, knowledge and sexuality
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Issues related to the reality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals are being incorporated into institutional and social discourses, and show the challenges that must be overcome towards citizenship. The inclusion of gay rights in the domain of institutions like the United Nations and the Brazilian Secretariat of Human Rights are a response to broader movements that places the gay subject as an important topic of debate in the social-political sphere. In this scenario, some institutions deserve close attention from researchers related to gay issues, the business environment being a good example. In this domain, diversity has become an important topic of debate between scholars, where the question of sexual identity in most cases does not appear. The literature that actually focuses on the theme is explored through approaches that are not able to break with universalisms and a normatized vocabulary. Therefore, this research explores discursive structures related to sexuality and examines the meanings construed throughout these structures as described by gay individuals working in business. Furthermore, it investigates patterns of discursive normative structures and consequential challenges faced by gay people in the working environment, and also complements the current debate both in the socio-political sphere and in academic reality on LGBT challenges. The Foucauldian notions of discourse, knowledge and power, and the main concepts of queer theory are incorporated to the analysis, as well as concepts related to the politics of post-colonial sexuality, subordination, and hegemonic forces, together with role of reflexivity in modernity and its impacts on secularized mental structures. The research design takes a phenomenological approach and bases its knowledge claim on a participatory perspective, where the sample chosen for data collection consisted of gay individuals working in the business environment, aiming at generate categories of meanings through the description of their experiences.