Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Kenny, KM
Human Relations
Beyond ourselves: Passion and the dark side of identification in an ethical organization
Optional Fields
gender theory identification organization studies participant observation passion subjection SUBJECTIVITY DISCOURSE IDENTITY PROJECT POWER SELF
How are organizational discourses enacted by people at work? In this article, instead of treating subjects as somewhat distinct from such discourses, I argue that the two are inescapably intertwined. The concept of 'ek-stasis' helps us to understand this. Ekstasis invokes an idea of the 'self' that, through processes of identification, is always located outside of itself, embedded in a wider sociality. I explore this dynamic through an in-depth study of the powerful discourse of 'ethical living', and its enactment in one contemporary development sector organization, EWH. This ek-static enactment was somewhat ambivalent: involving mutual recognition between colleagues, but also processes of exclusion and policing. I highlight how attention to feeling and passion was important in understanding the relation between workplace discourse and identification processes, in this setting. This study shows that a view of workplace selves as ek-static is useful for understanding the enactment of discourse at work, and that this enactment can be both passionate and ambivalent.
DOI 10.1177/0018726709345042
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