Organizing Identity: Persons and Organizations after theory

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SAGE Publications, Feb 15, 2007 - Social Science - 208 pages
'This book overturns the conventional thinking about organization and identity and puts in its place a wholly new theoretical synthesis. It is not just an extraordinarily incisive commentary on modern life but it is also a key to thinking about identity in new ways which will prove an indispensable guide as we move beyond social constructionism. Remarkable'

- Nigel Thrift, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Warwick

'I have to say that as usual I find very refreshing Paul du Gay's courageous and unconventional approach, a clarity of vision that I find very appealing'

- Professor Marilyn Strathern, William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology at the University Of Cambridge and Mistress of Girton College

Like many other popular academic terms, ‘Identity’ has been asked to do so much work that it has often ended up doing none at all and, as a consequence, there has been a recent turn away from identity work.

In this book, Paul du Gay moves identity theory in a new direction, offering a distinctive approach to studying how persons – human and non human - are put together or assembled: how their ‘Identities’ are formed. The book does this through an engagement with a range of work in the social sciences, humanities and in organization studies which privileges the business of description over metaphysical speculation and epochalist assertion.

At the heart of the book is an approach to the material-cultural making up of ‘persons’ that involves a shift away from general social and cultural accounts concerning the formation of ‘subjectivity’ and ‘identity’ towards an understanding of the specific forms of personhood that individuals acquire through their immersion in and subjection to particular normative and technical regimes of conduct.

The book is written for scholars - particularly postgraduate and beyond – interested in debates about identity, subjectivity and personhood in a range of disciplines – especially those in sociology, social anthropology, geography, and organization and management studies.

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About the author (2007)

Paul du Gay is Professor of Sociology and Organization Studies, and Co-Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance, in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Open University. His research is located in the sociology of organizational life and cultural studies. His recent
publications include, In Praise of Bureaucracy (Sage, 2000) and Cultural Economy (ed. with M. Pryke, 2002). Culture, Person and Organization: Essays in Cultural Economy will be published by Sage in 2005.

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