• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The realms of consumption have typically been seen to be distinct from those of work and production. This book examines how contemporary rhetorics and discourses of organizational change are breaking down such distinctions - with significant implications for the construction of subjectivities and identities at work. In particular, Paul du Gay shows how the capacities and predispositions required of consumers and those required of employees are increasingly difficult to distinguish. Both consumers and employees are represented as autonomous, responsible, calculating individuals. They are constituted as such in the language of consumer cultures and the all-pervasive discourses of enterprise whereby persons are required to be

Introduction
Introduction

The death of God left the angels in a strange position. They were overtaken suddenly by a fundamental question. … The question was, ‘What are angels?’

(Donald Bartheleme, ‘On Angels’)

The question of ‘identity’ has become a central theme in a variety of debates within the social and human sciences. Within the field of international relations, for example, the identity of the modem ‘nation-state’ as an ostensibly ‘sovereign’ entity has been put into question in the light of an intensification in patterns of global interconnectedness. Similarly, within certain forms of sociological analysis, the dominance of ‘class’ as the ‘master identity’ of the social – that category through which all social identities are mediated – has been problematized by, for example, the growth of various new social ...

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