Download Consumption and Identity at Work by Paul du Gay PDF

By Paul du Gay

ISBN-10: 0803979274

ISBN-13: 9780803979277

The geographical regions of intake have generally been noticeable to be specific from these of labor and creation. This e-book examines how modern rhetorics and discourses of organizational swap are breaking down such differences - with major implications for the development of subjectivities and identities at paintings. specifically, Paul du homosexual exhibits how the capacities and predispositions required of customers and people required of staff are more and more tough to differentiate. either shoppers and staff are represented as self sufficient, in charge, calculating members. they're constituted as such within the language of purchaser cultures and the all-pervasive discourses of firm wherein individuals are required to be

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Extra resources for Consumption and Identity at Work

Example text

9 The subject of work Having outlined and critically examined three of the most prominent approaches to the study of work-based subjectivity and identity within the social sciences, I now want to examine their explanatory reach. It is apparent that no unequivocal picture of the work-based subject emerges from an analysis of these approaches. As Knights and Willmott (1 989: 537) have indicated, social scientific studies of work identity generally, and sociological studies in particular, have tended to gravitate, often despite their best intentions, to one or other pole of the dualism between action and structure, individual and society.

Socialism, subjectivity is rep­ resented as having no force or weight under present conditions of alienation. As a consequence of this form of overdetermined analysis and explanation, no room is left for, and no weight assigned to, individual and! or group experience, meaning and action: structure virtually eradicates agency. As Barrett ( 1 99 1 : 1 1 0) has suggested, the question of subjectivity 'is a massive lacuna in Marxism', one which has 'stood in the way of a broader consideration of experience, identity, sexuality, affect and so on', not only in paid work but in all other spheres of social existence.

To analyse work identity and the meaning of consumption solely in terms of alienation was, in their view, to engage in a form of social diagnosis 'which in the end cannot be rejected by force of logic or evidence and which, by the same token, others are in no way constrained to accept'. It was not self-evident to the authors that the affluent worker's concern for comfortable housing and leisure goods such as televisions was a visible manifestation of 'false needs'. Rather, they considered the material possessions and amenities their respondents strove for as representing 'something like the minimum material base' on which the affluent worker and 'his' family 'might be able to develop a more individuated style of life, with a wider range of choices, The subjects of production 25 than has hitherto been possible for the mass of the manual labour force'.

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