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Queering all aboard: challenging the maleness of the leisure boat

Journal article
Authors Magdalena Petersson McIntyre
Published in International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Volume 24
Issue 1
Pages 4-22
ISSN 1476-1297
Publication year 2015
Published at Centre for Business in Society
Centre for Consumer Science
Pages 4-22
Language en
Keywords norm-critical design; gender equality; innovation; female bodies; somatechnics; queer theory; leisure boats; boating industry; queer studies; small firms; small businesses; business opportunities; male norms; invisible norms; ethnography; ethnographic methodologies; neutral designs; neutral technologies; queering of objects.
Subject categories Cultural Studies, Ethnology


The concept boat All Aboard was designed to meet women's expectations of leisure boats. A constellation of firms worked together to find solutions that could lead to business opportunities by challenging the implicit male norms of the leisure boat industry. This article examines the cultural notions of gender and equality that mattered in the process and explores the relationship between bodies, technologies, design, and gender using qualitative ethnographic methods. Based on queer theory, this article argues that ideas of the female body and the female relationship with boats played a significant role in this innovation process. Although invisible (and male) norms masked by so-called neutral designs and technologies were challenged, new norms of what women are like and what it means to be a woman were simultaneously created.

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