Organizing Silence

A World of Possibilities

By Robin Patric Clair

Subjects: Women's Studies
Series: SUNY series in Communication Studies
Paperback : 9780791439425, 259 pages, October 1998
Hardcover : 9780791439418, 259 pages, October 1998

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Table of contents



Part I

Chapter 1 The First Word Was Silence

Chapter 2 Silencing Communication

Chapter 3 Organizing Silence

Part II

Chapter 4 The Use of Framing Devices to Sequester Organizational Narratives: Hegemony and Harassment

Chapter 5 The Bureaucratization, Commodification, and Privatization of Sexual Harassment through Institutional Discourse: A Study of the "Big Ten" Universities

Chapter 6 Resistance and Oppression as a Self-Contained Opposite: An Organizational Communication Analysis of One Man's Story of Sexual Harassment

Part III

Chapter 7 When Silence Speaks: A Discussion of Self-Contained Opposites

Chapter 8 Artful Practices and the Aesthetic Perspective

Chapter 9 From Whispers to . . .




Name Index

Subject Index

A thought-provoking look at how silence is embedded in our language, society, and institutions. Sexual harassment is explored as an example.


Winner of the 2000 Outstanding Book Award presented by the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association

Organizing Silence is a thought-provoking look at how silence is embedded in our language, society, and institutions. It provides an overview of the varied philosophical approaches to understanding the role of silence and communication. One particular view of silence/communication, as grounded in political and patriarchal frameworks, is given special attention. The author questions not only how dominant groups silence marginalized members of society, but also how marginalized groups privilege and abandon each other. Sexual harassment is given as an example of material and discursive practices that articulate both a micro and macro level of silence, and accounts of both women and men who have been sexually harassed are provided. The book provides an alternative aesthetic perspective as a way of understanding the realities we create, encouraging alternative ways to listen to the silence, and presenting novel possibilities for future research.

Robin Patric Clair is Associate Professor of Communication at Purdue University.


"Organizing Silence is a significant, provocative, and compelling work. Clair develops a saturated and sanguine outline of the concept of silence as an expression, a process, and an institutional practice. " — Patricia Geist, San Diego State University

"Robin Patric Clair is one of the most promising young scholars in the field of organizational communication today. Her work is theoretically rich, methodologically sound, and highly provocative. Her research on the sequestering of sexual harassment stories is top drawer. " — Gail Fairhurst, University of Cincinnati