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Authenticity and the Cultural Politics of WorkNew Forms of Informal Control$
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Peter Fleming

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199547159

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547159.001.0001

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Towards a ‘New’ Cultural Politics of Work?

Towards a ‘New’ Cultural Politics of Work?

Chapter:
(p.16) 1 Towards a ‘New’ Cultural Politics of Work?
Source:
Authenticity and the Cultural Politics of Work
Author(s):

Peter Fleming (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547159.003.0002

This chapter outlines the emergence of a new turn in managerial discourse and practice that calls on employees to express their authentic identities. It briefly defines personal authenticity and its historical significance in western philosophical thought before exploring it evocation in work organizations. The chapter argues that the managerial exhortation for employees to ‘just be themselves’ is both a continuation of the neo-human relations attempt to adjust employees to the labour process, and a break with that tradition. The difference lies in the importance of non-work themes being celebrated in the sphere of production. An empirical example is then examined. The chapter concludes by demonstrating how this managerial ideology represents a more insidious form of control rather than the demise of control. The politics of authenticity comes to the fore in the analysis.

Keywords:   authenticity, bureaucracy, culture management, control, identity, private life, non-work

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