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Dr Elaine Swan

Senior Lecturer, Public Communication Program
Core Member, Centre for Management and Organisation Studies
Core Member, Creative Practice and Cultural Economy
BA, MA, PhD (Lanc)
+61 2 9514 3819

Research Interests

  • Cultural representations of global elites in business media and magazine cultures
  • Therapeutic cultures and the history and sociology of psychology
  • Critical visual pedagogy
  • Feminist and critical race pedagogies
  • Food and pedagogies
  • Critical whiteness and diversity studies

I teach on a number of FASS teaching programmes. My subjects include:

  • Global Work
  • Psychology of Adult Development
  • Assessing Learning
  • Global Work Project
  • Organisation Communication Management


Swan, E. 2009, Worked up Selves: Personal Development Workers, Self-Work and Therapeutic Cultures, First, Palgrave Macmillan, Hounsdmills, UK.
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Gatrell, C. & Swan, E. 2008, Gender and Diversity in Management: A Concise Introduction, First, Sage, London, UK.
Gender and Diversity in Management accessibly overviews the core issues of gender, race, sexuality, disability and diversity in management. In an area where there is often conflicting scholarship, this concise introduction assesses the key contemporary issues, and takes stock of the debates amongst scholars and practitioners. It will also be of great value to managers from a range of organizations, who seek a practical and up-to-date guide to contemporary thought and practice. Gender and Diversity in Management is designed for students on courses across a range of business and management subjects including Women in Management, Gender in Management, Equal Opportunities and Diversity, and Human Resource Management. It will also be of great value to managers from a range of organizations and sectors who wish to understand better the debates, or who seek a practical and up-to-date guide to contemporary thought and practice.


Swan, S.E. 2015, 'The internship class: subjectivity and inequalities–gender, race and class.' in Broadbridge, A. & Fielden, S. (eds), Handbook of Gendered Careers in Management: Getting In, Getting On, Getting Out, Edward Elgar Publishing., UK, pp. 30-43.
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Flowers & Swan, S.E. 2015, 'Multiculturalism as Work: The Emotional Labour of Ethnic Food Tour Guides' in Abbots, E.J., Lavis, A. & Attala, M.L. (eds), Careful Eating: Bodies, Food and Care., Ashgate.
Flowers, R. & Swan, S. 2015, 'Potatoes in the Rice Cooker: Family Food Pedagogies, Bodily Memories, Meal-time Senses and Racial Practices' in Flowers, R. & Swan, S. (eds), Food Pedagogies, Ashgate, UK, pp. 49-74.
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Flowers, R. & Swan, S. 2015, 'Food Pedagogies: Histories, Definitions and Moralities' in Flowers, R. & Swan, S. (eds), Food Pedagogies, Ashgate, UK, pp. 1-30.
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Swan, E. 2012, 'Cleaning Up? Transnational Corporate Femininity and Dirty Work in Magazine Culture' in Simpson, R., Slutskaya, N., Lewis, P. & Hopfl, H. (eds), Dirty Work: Concepts and Identities, Palgrave MacMillan, UK, pp. 182-202.
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In this chapter I analyse the textual construction of femininity through the representation of the figure of the contemporary career woman in an edition of Bazaar at Work, a supplement to the UK edition of Harpers and Bazaar, a 'high-end' glossy women's monthly magazine. Drawing on the notion of 'transnational corporate masculinity' (Connell, 2005), I argue that the idealised white glamorous femininity being imagined in the magazine could be understood as 'transnational corporate femininity' (Swan, 2010). Inspired by Brigid Anderson's (2000) argument that white middle-class women draw on paid domestic labourers as a form of cultural capital, I explore the place of cleanliness and whlteness in the cultural production of this version of white middle-class femininity. Of course, cleanliness can refer to various objects: bodies, clothes, dwellings, morality and attitudes, but as Elizabeth Shove has written, 'notions of cleanliness are ... laden ... with symbolic and moral import' (2003: 79). I examine this symbolic and moral import in relation to class, race and femininity.
Swan, E. 2009, 'Putting words in our mouths: diversity training as heterglossic space' in Mustafa Ozbilgin (ed), Equality Diversity and Inclusion at Work: A Research Companion, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp. 308-321.
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Swan, E. 2007, 'Blue Eyed Girl? Jane Elliott's Experiential Learning and Anti-Racism' in Reynolds, M. & Vince, R. (eds), Handbook of Experiential Learning and Management Education, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 202-220.
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Swan, E. 2004, 'Thinking with Feeling: The Emotions of Reflection' in Reynolds, M. & Vince, M. (eds), Organzing Reflection, Ashgate Publishing Limited, USA, pp. 105-125.

Journal articles

Swan, S.E. & Flowers, R. 2015, 'Clearing Up the Table: Food Pedagogies and Environmental EducationContributions, Challenges and Future Agendas.', Australian Journal of Environmental Education,, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 146-164.
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In our paper, we draw on recent scholarship on food pedagogies and pedagogy studies to explore themes in the collection of articles in this special issue. In particular, we show how the articles variously conceptualise formal and informal pedagogies, their curricula, aims, and potential effects in relation to food and sustainability. Drawing on debates in pedagogy studies, we investigate how the papers reflect on what makes a pedagogy pedagogical. We then turn to food studies literature to identify how the articles in this special issue construct food as a theoretical and empirical object. Given food's multifaceted nature, which means that food works materially, biologically, economically, symbolically and socially, we explore which versions of food and its attributes are profiled across and within the articles. Inspired by critiques on race and class in relation to food and food social movements, in the final section of the paper we ask how the articles and future research on food and environmental education can take account of the racialised, gendered and classed dimensions of education for food sustainability. As part of our discussion, we evaluate the ethics of doing good, the moral economy educators reproduce in relation to class, race and gender, and the contribution feminism and critical race theory can make to future research agendas and writing in the field.
Swan, E. 2013, 'Cooking up a storm: politics, labour and bodies', Loisir et Societe/ Society and Leisure, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 433-443.
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Performance energy bars, gels, and blasts, jelly belly sports beans, gatorade drinks and energy bites, and powerade; organically grown fruits, nuts and eggs; tomatoes, squash, okra, broccoli, beans, eggplant, peppers; oriental-style cabbages, sesame, buchu; zucchini, carrots, beans; herbs, squash, cucumber, corn; samosas, chai, mango lassi, chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken, raita, paneer, biryani, cardamom, garlic naan, malai kofta biryani, mango kulfi. And encroaching nasturtiums.
Flowers, R. & Swan, E. 2012, 'Eating the Asian Other? Pedagogies of Food Multiculturalism in Australia', Portal Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 1-30.
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Public pedagogies in tourism and education in Australia suggest that food is a medium through which we learn more about each others cultures: in other words food is a pedagogy of multiculturalism. Drawing on a white Anglo Australian mans memories of food in different intercultural encounters, this paper prises open the concept of eating the Other. There has been trenchant critique of food multiculturalism and the consuming cosmopolitan in Australia (Hage 1997; Probyn 2004; Duruz 2010). Thus, several writers critique the prevailing idea that eating ethnic food is a sign of cosmopolitanism, and even anti-racism, in individuals and cities in Australia (Hage 1997; Sheridan 2002; Duruz 2010). Hence, the notion of eating the Other has been taken up to discuss how ethnicity becomes an object of enrichment for white people through the eating of ethnic food in restaurants (Hage 1997) and cooking ethnic food at home (Heldke 2003). In this paper we present an `entangled story of Frank which includes white expatriate masculinity, multiculturalism with ethnics and what Heldke calls `colonial food adventuring. Drawing on a close reading of Franks story, we argue that an evaluation of food multiculturalism needs to historicise, gender and racialise inter-cultural food encounters. Thus, we argue that there are ethnic food socialities other than those of home-building or restaurant multiculturalisms. We suggest that culturalist and political economy pedagogies of food multiculturalism could be augmented by one that attends to the production of whiteness and gender.
Flowers, R. & Swan, E. 2012, 'Why food? Why pedagogy? Why adult education?', Australian Journal of Adult Learning, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 419-433.
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Flowers, R. & Swan, E. 2012, 'Pedagogies of doing good: Problematisations, authorities, technologies and teleologies in food activism', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF ADULT LEARNING, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 532-572.
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Flowers, R. & Swan, E. 2011, 'Eating at Us: Representations of Knowledge in the activist documentary film Food Inc', Studies in the Education of Adults, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 234-250.
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Writing on social movement learning and environmental adult education invokes particular views on knowledge that need further examination and development in relation to food social movements. Although food social movements take different forms, the paper argues that the politics of food knowledge is at the centre of many of these movements. Contributing to the discourse of social movement learning, this article focuses on the film Food, Inc., an important activist resource and documentary film about a particular food movement. We analyse how it legitimates certain forms of knowledge about food production and consumption and de-legitimates others. Whilst a useful case study on knowledge and film activism in itself, the article seeks to challenge what it sees as some key tenets about knowledge in social movement learning literature. One key tenet is that it is self-evident whose interests are served by 'ordinary people's knowledge' and 'scientific knowledge.' Instead, it is argued that when it comes to collective action for food there is ambiguity, messiness and contestation about what constitutes knowledge and, in particular, anti-capitalist knowledge. But realisation of such ambiguity, messiness and contestation should not lead to paralysed inaction, but to informed and nuanced action. A question then for social movement learning practitioners is how they can mobilise social change through a broader sense of knowledge and its effects.
Swan, E. 2010, 'Commodity Diversity: Smiling Faces as a Strategy of Containment', Organization, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 77-100.
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Swan, E. & Fox, S. 2010, 'Playing the Game: Strategies of Resistance and Co-optation in Diversity Work', Gender, Work & Organization, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 567-589.
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Swan, E. 2010, ''A testing time, full of potential?': Gender in management, histories and futures', Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 25, no. 8, pp. 661-675.
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Purpose ~ The purpose of this paper is to look back since the first edition of what was then Wmucn inlVlanaganellt Rlwiew as a \-vay of looking forward to suggest a future potential. Design/methodology/approach - The paper drmvs on some historical work on issues central to the literature and practices associated with v.mmen/gender in management. It also drmvs on feminist theories to outline what the author calls "testings" - theoreticaL conceptual and activist challenges - to some of that early thinking. Findings - The paper emphasises the importance of differentiating \vomen in order to understand the complexity of inequalities, and white middle class \vomen's pati in reproducing inequality. In addition, the different theoretical turns have emphasised the multiple and intersecting sources of discrimination - economic, cultural, psychosocial, social. linguistic and ideological. Originality/value - The paper offers insights into gender in management. histories and futures.
Swan, E. 2010, 'States of White Ignorance, and Audit Masculinity in English Higher Education', Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 477-506.
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Swan, E., Stead, V. & Elliott, C. 2009, 'Feminist Challenges and Futures: Women, Diversity and Management Learning', Management Learning, vol. 40, no. 4, pp. 431-437.
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Swan, E. & Fox, S. 2009, 'Becoming Flexible: Self-flexibility and its Pedagogies', British Journal of Management, vol. 20, pp. S149-S159.
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Swan, E. 2008, 'Let's not get too personal: critical reflection, reflexivity and the confessional turn', Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 385-399.
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Swan, E. 2007, ''You Make Me Feel like a Woman': Therapeutic Cultures and the Contagion of Femininity', Gender, Work & Organization, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 88-107.
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Hunter, S. & Swan, E. 2007, 'Oscillating politics and shifting agencies: equalities and diversity work and actor network theory', Equal Opportunities International, vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 402-419.
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Ahmed, S. & Swan, E. 2006, 'Doing Diversity', Policy Futures in Education, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 96-100.
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This quote from feminist management academic Yvonne Benschop epitomises a central critique of how the term `diversity operates within organisations. In relation to this special issue, it raises a number of important questions: for example, if diversity does not necessarily appeal to our sense of social injustice, what then is its appeal? To what are we appealing, when we appeal to diversity? In this special issue, we aim to offer a wide range of perspectives on how the term `diversity is being used within schools, colleges and universities to define their social and educational missions, as well as their employment practices. The `turn to diversity has led to the term `diversity being used on its own or with the term `equality, such that people increasingly talk about doing `E & D work. The politics of this turn has been much debated within critical race and post-colonial studies, feminist studies, as well as critical management studies (Ang & Stratton, 1994; Bhabha, 1994; Kandola & Fullerton, 1994; Deem & Ozga, 1997; Prasad & Mills, 1997; Kirton & Greene, 2000; Lorbiecki, 2001; Gunew, 2004; Konrad et al, 2006; Lorbiecki & Jack, 2000).
Swan, E. 2005, 'On Bodies, Rhinestones, and Pleasures: Women Teaching Managers', Management Learning, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 317-333.
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