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A novel alternative. Book groups, women, and workplace networking

Alsop, Rachel


Rachel Alsop


Drawing on the results of a small qualitative research project involving four work-based book groups – three in the UK and one in the USA- this article examines the ways in which participation in workplace reading groups facilitates women’s networking within work organizations, in terms of both formal and informal as well as expressive and instrumental networking. It has long been recognized that women’s employment progression is hampered, in part, by their exclusion from male-dominated networks. Taking a gendered approach to the analysis of workplace networking, this study suggests that book groups can function as an alternative to traditional old boys’ networks, in some instances. Within the workplace the collective reading of literature, I suggest, can potentially function as a means to extend the social as well as the more career-focused opportunities of its participants.


Alsop, R. (2015). A novel alternative. Book groups, women, and workplace networking. Women's studies international forum, 52, 30-38.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 21, 2015
Online Publication Date Aug 26, 2015
Publication Date Sep 12, 2015
Deposit Date Dec 21, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Women's studies international forum
Print ISSN 0277-5395
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 52
Pages 30-38
Keywords Women; Book groups; Networking; Reading; Literature; Gender; Work
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Women's studies international forum, 2015, v.52.


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