Organization–Representation: Work and Organization in Popular Culture

The representation of organizations and working life in popular media signifies--but also helps shape--contemporary practice and institutions. The studies presented in Organization/Representation unravel the complex social relationship between organization and its representation, offering new insights into the interaction between the popular images we create and receive and the power relations that govern society, working life, and culture. The volume shows how the boundaries between each of the categories are blurred to the extent that it is misleading to make assumptions about where “representation” begins and “organization” ends. Rich insights are offered into the relations between gender, power and work, and how the popular media--in which they are represented--may function as a two-way mirror. The different media of cinema, documentary film, children's literature, and even the cyber-world of computerized image, replicate the power structures they are supposed to describe and may help create or at least shape contemporary realities. Several of the contributors to the volume end by questioning some of the basic ontological distinctions between “fiction” and “reality.” Critical analysis of the relationship between popular culture and organizational life enhances our understanding of both. Scholars, researchers and students of organizational theory, sociology of organization, cultural studies, and gender and organization will find a rich source of case examples and illustration, together with the challenging perspective of a new frame of inquiry.

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