Many journalists describe the Zapatistas' use of media events to influence international public opinion in favour of their organization and its aim to achieve indigenous land reform as the “first postmodern revolution” (Carrigan 2001, 417). These journalists are not simply using a catch phrase, the Zapatista rebellion can be understood to be a postmodern movement in three different ways of examining the social theory: 1) as a polemic against another theory, 2) as a mode of discourse, 3) and as a guide to action (Simmons 2004). The Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) stands as a postmodern polemic against modernism, and globalization. It has asserted itself as an alternative and opposing political force to the Mexican government. The postmodern mode of discourse can explain how the EZLN uses language and new technologies, over guns, to communicate their group's objectives to the repressive Mexican state authorities and to the world at large. However, postmodernism can be a poor guide to action due to its aversion to ideology. The Zapatista rebellion as postmodern revolution is an ongoing struggle and may never achieve its full objectives.
Security work is increasingly privatized under neoliberal governance, a trend that is not without controversy over legitimacy and ethics. Public interaction with and understanding of private security contractors is in part mediated by popular cultural representations. In particular, parodies of these organizations are significant for their ability to tell audiences what organizations and members are not. This paper examines representations of security work by looking at Paul Blart: Mall Cop as a parody that creates relief from official hierarchies of security using Bakhtinian carnival, by lowering security discourses to the level of the grotesque, non-professional body. However, parodies may also encourage public acceptance of privatization by showing private security workers to be more creative and efficient. Parodies of security work can serve as temporary relief from daily need to comply with security regimes, while also aligning privatized security work with discourses of professionalism and authority.
Digital technology and software networks enable large numbers of knowledge workers to incorporate themselves wherever and whenever they wish and to choose between a sedentary or nomadic lifestyle. One way of configuring these new circumstances is as the extensive power of people, products and markets to speedily overcome obstacles and span distances. However, we increasingly see nonrepresentative corporations accelerating human pace and swallowing open spaces within the rational administrative control of a new supranational “Empire”. Intensive movement, on the other hand, reconfigures the human condition in ways that politically and ethically engage with universalizing global processes. Like the traditional nomads of the steppe or the desert, for example, the movement in question is a complex, dynamic relation characterized by its immediacy and continuous variation of alliance and resistance, that remains difficult to locate, difficult to control, and even more difficult to defeat. The paper argues that nomadism can be a starting point for an opposing strategy to the global knowledge economy.
This article focuses on the role of organizational storytelling and identity formation of a Danish filmmaking company, Zentropa Entertainment Productions Company (a.k.a. Zentropa). Identity formation, as storytelling, is taking place in a context of multiple voices, polyphony, and is performed in dialogue. The article explores how identities are co-produced through the interaction between the organization and external actors by their story interaction. The study illustrates how the identity of a filmmaking company emerges from identity stories and how they are co-produced with the media. We argue that the rebellious ‘Maverick’ identity of Zentropa has emerged through its interaction with the media through “counter stories.” Finally, the study shows the difficulties that Zentropa encountered trying to maintain its rebellious ‘Maverick’ identity.
This paper argues for an interpretive approach to theorizing as more than merely the assertion of truth-claims but in addition, as a social process that narrates the ordering and simplification of reality effects. Mary Douglas’ (1975) notion of the pangolin as a reflexive mediating concept able to “speak” to both macro and micro social theories is recommended. Ressentiment as just such a pangolin-like concept is proposed and its usefulness is explored in an organizational case study, made up of three vignettes, of doing business in a South African township. The role for ressentiment in an interpretive theory of power is considered.
This paper is about an entrepreneurial fraternity and its role in reworking and reframing entrepreneurial excess. We achieve this through considering the historical presentation of the entrepreneur as an isolated individual, a maverick, can be mediated through the adoption of historical modes of organisation that have been appropriated to provide conformity, legitimacy and a sense of belonging. To achieve the purpose of our paper we examine the website of the Memphis based society of entrepreneurs (www.societyofentrepreneurs.com). Through examination of stories on the website, we show how the conservativeness of the stories presented may play a key role in creating a entrepreneurial identity that counters the rebellious and recklessness of the young turks. We suggest that while these modes of organisation may initially seek to curb entrepreneurial excess, in time, they have the potential to be abused, and thus, in themselves, become a form of excess.
Media and entrepreneur support organizations glorify empire building entrepreneurs, reflecting a world-view of older generations. Research on nascent entrepreneurs reveals that few of them are building organizations that fit the old ideal. Instead, their priorities and the stories they are creating better reflect the career view of the generation now entering the workforce (Generation Y). When asked about future organizational success, the 187 nascent entrepreneurs in this study focused on relationships, integrity and lifestyle. This paper explores which types of entrepreneurs may be held up as exemplary as the Baby Boomers leave positions of power and Generation Y enters the workforce: What the stories may be, and what impact this may have on education, economy, families, and public policy.
Democracy needs to defend itself from the many immediate threats - technology, imperialism, global economic powers, human passivity and reactionary religion. Reactionary religion has taken the lead worldwide in rejecting pluralism and democracy, viewing both values as gateways to secularism and decadence. Both modernism and postmodernism have failed to fully address the success of the continued political advances of the religious right worldwide. A new, postmodern politics of meaning is needed to address basic human needs currently served by the cosmology of traditional religious orthodoxy. Progressive thinkers in philosophy, religion and in critical theory must work dialectically to retain the good of religion and spirituality, the need for ultimate meaning, and the challenge of reducing negative, anti-democratic impulses. These impulses are embodied in theocracy and a fear of life. Until religion is totally reinvented or evolves to a higher level we will have to defend many democratic values from religious extremists. A live and let live political philosophy is a good defense of democracy.
This article expands the hypothesis proposed by Peter F. Drücker and Dirk Baecker, that is, how the evolution of computer communication manifests and presses ahead the detemporization and poly-contextuality of information and therefore is said to be the driver for an unmanageable complexity within modern organizations. In order to do so, the article uses an illustrative case of Management by Objectives as it appears within the governmental programmes in Denmark associated with New Public Management. This case shows how this technology enables the production of a diversity of antagonistic images of the organization relative to its environment (polycontextuality) and in particular how these effects emerge due to different timebindings within organizations (organized temporality). As such the hypothesis is expanded in three ways: first of all, the hypothesis is expanded as polycontextuality is comprehended within the temporal dimension, that is, as the differences between timebindings. Second of all, the article renders probable these identity-problems of modern organizations but due to another technology which mediates communication: Management by Objectives. Thus, identity problems should be associated with other media of communication too, than the one of the computer communication. Third of all, the implications of identity problems of modern organizations are often associated with the impossibility of management or with a need for more complex ways of managing. The article is an attempt to specify this approach suggesting 2. order management as a matter of observing the observations enabled by management technologies. To these ends the article draws upon Luhmann´s system theory in order to direct attention to these organizational identity problems. This contribution is not conclusive. It is an attempt to expand a strong hypothesis in the need of further investigation
The growing role of the Internet social networking sites (SNS) has served as a flash point for debate about the democratization of information, particularly in light of their perceived roles in the 2008 presidential election. This horizontal sharing of information undoubtedly facilitated the revival of the youth vote and volunteerism in many ways mimicking traditional grassroots approaches. While the role of the Internet SNS in mobilization efforts and information-sharing cannot be overstated, its effectiveness in creating a new ―public sphere,‖ or transforming traditional electoral campaign strategies and communicative practices must be closely examined before generalizations about the democratization of media can be confirmed. In the aftermath of the election, theorists were quick to simplistically identify the use of social networking sites as key to this electoral shift. In this paper we attempt to advance contemporary theorizing of new media and institutional politics by examining specifically how and if ICTs (information communication technologies) and new media platforms are shifting the balance of power in terms of organization and mobilization away from the professional model and toward more democratic and bottom-up efforts. Reconceptualizing some of the basic theories of social movements and collective behavior this paper seeks to address questions such as: how are digitally enabled forms of mobilization affecting who becomes a participant; how do they affect organizational structure and leadership; how do they impact the dynamics of collective action; how do we address the powerful yet ephemeral effect of e-tactics established for short-term gains; can mobilizations succeed without collective identity and/or do we need new categorizations for collective identity; and whether e-tactics serve as a gateway for future participation.
Based on the insights of advanced phenomenology, this paper inquires into spaces and places of transition and liminality in organisations and leader-/followership. After interpreting liminality relationally, basic ideas of a phenomenology of space and embodied place as media for transition are given. The text then discusses the significance of liminality and transitional space in organisations and leadership, particularly its embodied and emotional dimensions as well as ambivalences and ambiguities. In conclusion implications and perspectives on research and practice for transitional spaces and embodied place in organisations and leadership are provided.
Sometimes, trauma strikes with a momentous vengeance and many are injured and killed at once. These mass casualty incidents have to be addressed by a multi-array of professionals such as law enforcement, emergency care workers, and those who are immediately on the scene to use their mental and physical laurels to deal with the situation. Some argue that mass death tears communities apart. The theory is that an area can only stand so much devastation. With the stress of the catastrophe more destruction will arise by the people themselves. What are the procedures and polices of dealing with a mass fatality event? The tornado tragedy in Riegelwood, North Carolina is an excellent case study for a multi-death disaster scene in the rural setting. This prompted an inquiry in to the larger issues of death whether in a small town or world setting.
This paper explores post-humanist assemblage and biomediation through ontological storytelling and antenarrative. It considers material agency via biomediation, examining the use of material devices to prolong and enhance human and animal life. The first ontological story presented is that of a woman and her biomediated dog (titanium knees), running in an urban setting with various material actants in assemblage supporting human health and psychological wellbeing. The second considers the use and efficacy of biomediation to prolong the lives of humans afflicted with renal disease and cancer. The work offers an experiential lens for contemplation of biomediation, assemblage, posthumanism and ethics. Its contribution is an authentic, contextual exploration of Heidegger’s (1962) Dasein and a related antenarrative fore-having of metanoia-derived strength. These illustrations support discussion of how material (ontic) and ontological (Being-there) aspects are overlooked or actively suppressed by social constructionism.
The paper explores two recent social movements that show signs of global resistance to the ideology of neoliberal polices and values; the Indignados uprisings that took place in Spain, Greece and Mexico, and the Occupy Wall Street protests that broke out across many parts of the United States. It argues that to understand contemporary social movement activity and protest politics, it is crucial to update social movment theories to include analyses of how the digital revolution has categorically changed the way that activists express grievances and share information, strategize and for on-the-street forms of contentious politics, and challenge the narratives put forth by authorities and the mainstream media when there are confrontations between peaceful protesters and the police force.
The paper discusses organizational planning and decision making as situated materialsemiotic practices in which various local and non-local meaningful elements (e.g. texts and photos) are invocated and resemiotized. The discussion is based on an analysis of a seminar meeting where different stakeholders (researchers, family members, etc.) could put forward their ideas and wishes about the facilities of a soon-to-be-built care home for people with brain injury. In other words, the seminar was part of a wider diagnostic endeavor that was to be started in a specially designed building. The future occupants themselves could not be present to express any views; their point of view was mediated by others. The paper discusses with what communicative resources this mediation was done and how the performance was geared to the audience present. The analytical focus will be how in one talk the speaker makes a transition from sharing experiences to making specific suggestions.
In this interconnection of embodied being and environing world, what happens in the interface is what’s important. At least that is the way a phenomenological perspective takes shape. Ihde, 2002, p. 8
We are embodied beings. Our flesh, our manner of being in the world as an intertwining of perceiver and perceived is a notion that makes it possible for us to articulate the human body with respect to its ontological dimensionality and the claim it has within the lived world. This claiming is our being-in-the-world and it is situated in the understanding of the Self. This fleshly schema called the body is a “opening and clearing, in the multidimensional field of Being, for it articulates the embodiment-character of our responsiveness and elicits its potential for development on the basis of our initial, most primordial sense of Being-in-the-world.” (Lakoff & Johnson, 1999, p. 62). As such, our everyday life takes place within this opening and clearing of personal space and personal movement. In this Being in the World, through history, humans have told oral then written stories to solidify culture and share knowledge for the future. Our Being-in-the-world comes through story. A different part of Being also intertwines with technology. When story and technology meet, digital stories are born. This theoretical reflection aims to connect the philosophy of technology and new media theory to clarify the role of digital processes in the storytelling, and explore the notion of techne. A variety of perspectives work to shed light on the phenomenological notion called Beingin-the-world-with-technology. Latour (2005) Giltrow (2002) Ihde (2002) and Orlikowski (2001) contribute to unpacking the interaction and relationship between humans and technology to identify the materials artifacts, characteristics of human agents, and context. This reflection aims to flesh out new media perspectives about digital storytelling through the phenomenological work of Gadamer, Heidegger, Ihde, Leder, Merleau Ponty, with concepts of mediation, mediatization, embodiment, motility, praxis, context, and aesthetic stance toward techne.
A significant aspect of learning how to be a lawyer includes the acquisition—through trial and error—of a way of speaking, reading and writing that is unique to the work of doing law. Embodying this professional role requires the ability to parse and produce large amounts of complex, jargon-rich language known as ‘legalese:’ a learned communicative skill which produces a craftbound discourse (Maley 1987). The law school graduate, moreover, typically enters the workforce with little experience in legal practice. A three year education must therefore provide sufficient training for their immediate professional future. Words must fulfill the role that experience cannot.
In conjunction with ethnographic observation of first year classes at a major law school, I analyzed classroom interaction for patterns in talk that foster a sense of professional identity. Hypothetical situations emerged as a striking unit of analysis. Professors presented brief, improvised descriptions of potential legal quandaries, while positioning students as characters in the narratives. Using pronouns such as in “you, the plaintiff,” “you, the defendant,” and asking questions such as “why would you pass a statute allowing these lawsuits?” rather than “why would lawyers/legislators/they pass a statute,” the professor positions students within the legal system, and allows them to cognitively role play with their professional identity. Hypothetical situations as a unit of analysis inform our understanding of law school curriculum, as well as other types of training situations where students must develop the critical thinking skills of the real world within the walls of a classroom.
In the following essay I intend to draw attention to two phenomena, which have become subjects of interest in political science following the occurrence of Brexit and Trump. One of them is “post-truth politics”1, in a way, an explanation for the aforementioned occurrences. According to it, the voters, especially the ones critical of the establishment, disregard certain “self-evident” facts while making their decision. I am arguing that this explanation ignores the fact that in politics so-called “facts” do not exist. A prerequisite of pluralism is to have different arrangements and interpretations of the facts. The other area of my investigation, which is closely connected to the first one, has to be taken into consideration when we are trying to interpret either the Brexit or the Trump phenomenon. Through the social media, the digitalization of politics has dramatically changed political communication and marketing, political content and how fast news or fake news can spread. Therefore the changes in the way voters perceive politics and political matters is also an influential factor. If we perceive certain matters as politics or not, what we do or do not consider as a political matter. Correspondingly, contemporary populist reintroduce topics into politics which were considered concluded and they question certain consensuses of the previous years. As an illustration, we may think of Donald Trump’s concept of public “Post-truth politics” as the normal state of politics policy, which includes not only the wall to the Mexican border but the denial of climate change, as well as his rejection of political correctness or the ban on federal money spent on abortions outside the US. The varying facts, contents, and interpretations reach the voters through a fragmented publicity, through various channels and platforms. A certain part of the voters only encounters the fragments of facts or an interpretation and it may as well be an aim on their side.