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A Simulacrum of Workplace Community: Individualism and Engineered Culture


Ezzy, D, A Simulacrum of Workplace Community: Individualism and Engineered Culture, Sociology, 35, (3) pp. 631-650. ISSN 0038-0385 (2001) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1177/S0038038501000323


This paper focuses on the cultural and social consequences of the new forms of work organisation variously described as engineered workplace culture, flexibilisation, teamwork, employee involvement, quality circles and post-Fordism. Some celebrate the new form of worker this creates as a consumer of organisationally provided meanings. However, the choices are quite limited for workers in engineered cultures, and for the self-discovering subjects of consumer capitalism more generally. The language, norms and values of engineered cultures become internalised and dominate employees' subjectivity. Further, a sociological analysis of institutional structures of consumer capitalism, and engineered cultures in particular, points to how they encourage workers to develop moral frameworks that are individualistic, with little concern for other people. Simone Weil's studies of the workplace are used to argue that a culture that encourages an ethical orientation of respect for the other is at the heart of good work.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Work and labour market
Objective Field:Work and labour market not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Ezzy, D (Professor Douglas Ezzy)
ID Code:21344
Year Published:2001
Web of Science® Times Cited:48
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2001-08-01
Last Modified:2002-05-21

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