‘It Just Comes with the Territory’: Discursive Normalisation of Sexual Harassment in Bars

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Armstrong, Lisa




This thesis concerns bartenders’ construction of their experiences with sexual harassment. Increasingly recognized as problematic in other workplaces, harassment in bars is understudied, and no research has been undertaken in this context from a discourse analytic perspective. This study, motivated by my bartending experience, investigates the role of discourse in normalising sexual harassment. Using data from the social media website reddit.com, as well as semi-structured interviews, I utilize analytical tools from Critical Discourse Analysis to determine if and how bartenders are complicit in this normalisation. Furthermore, I situate my findings in Fairclough’s 3-dimensional framework, which allows the connection of text analysis to wider socio-cultural context. The results suggest that bartenders use discourse that reinforces the normalisation of sexual harassment. Bartenders often consider harassment ‘just part of the job’. These findings highlight the need for a discursive analytic approach to studying and addressing sexual harassment in bars.


Sociology - Organizational




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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