Lady in Pink. Different aspects of one color in the direct selling organization in Poland
Paper short abstract:
In this paper I would like to consider pink as a dominant color in one of the direct selling organizations and consider its various roles in organizational identity building, gender construction and feeling rules implementation.
Paper long abstract:
Direct Selling Organization where I conducted my Ph.D. fieldwork was founded in US "by woman for women". Pink color can be seen as key element through which we can understand the most important cultural aspects of that very organization. Pink is everywhere: main prize is pink car, smaller prizes are in pink, pink is the dominant color in office décor, one of the organizational slogans is "feel the power of pink", etc. Pink in that organizational setting can be analyzed as: 1) Synonym of femininity. This women's organization can be characterized as prefeminist, "celebrating womanly abilities and values but not challenging dominant social structures" (N.W. Biggart). The dominating image of femininity is quite stereotypical here and pink is core symbol of womanly abilities and values. 2) Synonym of joy and happiness. Colors are used for implementing feeling rules. 3) Pink as an identity color. Although formal ties in direct selling are weak - because sellers are independent entrepreneurs - the feeling of membership is very strong. Pink is one of the main symbols upon which they build their group identity.