Pandemic and macho organizations: Wake-up call or business as usual?

Gend Work Organ. 2020 Sep;27(5):734-746. doi: 10.1111/gwao.12466. Epub 2020 Jun 16.


The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. The global spread of the virus is affecting societies' gender dynamics in general and in organizations in particular. Based on ethnographic research being carried out in a police organization in Brazil, this piece discusses how COVID-19 is impacting hegemonic masculinity in organizations. Police organizations are prototypical hegemonic masculinity organizations. I argue that the COVID-19 pandemic at first encouraged the performance of the typical police macho masculinity, but as the disease progressed, it created a situation that challenged it. I explore that even though the pandemic threatens macho masculinity in organizations, it is still unclear if an alternative gender dynamic will emerge from this crisis in macho organizations.

Keywords: COVID‐19; hegemonic masculinity; macho masculinity; police.