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
Chapter 1: The Subjects of Production
The Subjects of Production
Throughout this century the relationship between a person's sense of who they are – their personal identity – and the paid work they perform for a living has been a source of regular, if almost always implicit, concern to nearly all those engaged in theorizing about modern work organization and behaviour. Indeed, such concerns can be traced in the work of authors as seemingly diverse as Elton Mayo (1933) and Harry Braverman (1974). Mayo, for example, was keen to encourage the creation of an effective, scientifically informed managerial elite who would ensure that the modern industrial worker's innate need for belonging was met through the active construction of a strong sense of work-group identification. For Mayo, the creation of ...