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Redeeming LeadershipAn Anti-Racist Feminist Intervention$
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Helena Liu

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529200041

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529200041.001.0001

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(p.21) 1 Dominance
Redeeming Leadership

Helena Liu

Policy Press

This chapter examines the hegemony of white masculinity and critiques the imperialist fantasy of white masculine dominance, strength and power. This historical image bestowed white men the right to command and control humanity, which translates in contemporary organisational practice to the abiding association of white masculinity with leadership. Classical leadership theories are explored, showing how mainstream texts from charismatic leadership to transformational leadership assume and celebrate a white masculine subject. Media profiles of celebrity CEOs, Richard Branson and Steve Jobs, are analysed to illustrate the ways contemporary business leadership embodies white masculine ideals.

Keywords:   Leadership, Masculinity, Whiteness, Patriarchy, Imperialism

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