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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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Critique, Co‐optation, and the Limits of the Corporation

Critique, Co‐optation, and the Limits of the Corporation

Chapter:
(p.115) 6 Critique, Co‐optation, and the Limits of the Corporation
Source:
Authenticity and the Cultural Politics of Work
Author(s):

Peter Fleming (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547159.003.0007

If corporations are now utilizing the tools of criticism and dissent, then where does this leave scholarly critique? This chapter provocatively explores the role of criticism in a cultural era where large corporations have absorbed and re-packed its own critique in the pursuit of profit. Rather than the firm being afraid of criticism, it actively co-opts and uses it to reinforce the status quo. The chapter uses the ideas of Latour and Boltanski and Chiapello's ‘The New Spirit of Capitalism’ to investigate this shift in managerial ideology. It argues that there might be a danger that critical management studies is actually reinforcing the latest managerial discourses rather than undermining them as it intends to do. It concludes by discussing the limits of co-optation (what kind of critique might not be appropriated and remain inscrutable?) and the role of the university.

Keywords:   authenticity, critique, criticism, co-optation, corporate ideology, critical pedagogy, university

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