The 11th International Critical Management Studies Conference, June 27th-29th, 2019
The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, UK
Call for Papers
The craft of belonging at work:
Rethinking openings, closings, precarity and security
Jenny Cave, Swansea University
Jocelyn Finniear, Swansea University
Tanja Visic, Max Weber Institute, University of Erfut
Paul White, Swansea University
‘A reciprocity and a seriality of the roles of hosts and guests moves us toward an appreciation of that social state where neither party is clearly or absolutely ‘at home’ in a place, or where one is at home in and through ‘being away’.
(Rapport, 2006, p. 182)
Ideas of belonging have been central to classical sociological thought from Engels (1845), Durkheim (1912) through to Weber (1978). The what, where and when of belonging has a slippery invocation in politics and management through calls to ‘us’ [hosts] and ‘them’ [guests] (Haraszti, 1977; Munro, 1998; cf. Roy, 1981). Here we aim to unpick constructions of belonging and/or otherness as a means of better understanding work, place and community. We welcome examinations of longing and belonging to a ‘real-and-imagined’ (Soja, 1998) sense of ‘community’ (cf. Anderson, 1983) and the impact of not being seen (or felt) to belong (Cohen, 2001; Anderson, 2011). The aim is not to moralise notions of belonging, of home, of being hospitable (cf. Derrida, 2000; 2001), but to examine the very notion of belonging and its relations to work, organisation and contemporary political economy.
Security is laboured into communities, work and the workplace through a multitude of social and material practices. Such practices from the eating of food (Parker, 2008; cf. Murcott, 1983) to private/public displays (Miller, 2008; Hurdley 2015), may also be witnessed in terms of im/migration, and the hospitality of hosts, guests and the management of those considered unruly (Veijola, et al., 2014). From global labour flows, migrant work, the changing nature of communities to the micro-politics of mundane everyday organisational encounters, we may witness the myriad ways in which hosts and guests work to belong (or not) and create security, or become other. We welcome contributions that think critically about what it means to belong and what such belonging accomplishes in the maintenance or challenging of a social and/or organisational order.
But is belonging, like belonging to a nation state, of itself an imaginary (Anderson 1983)? Can individuals labour inclusion into something of which they are not welcome, where through a single and slight moment of rupture (Anderson, 2011), the world is unconcealed for how we now know it to be? The nature of business and management may reflect impolitic ontologies (Anderson, 2011; cf. Essed, 1990; Van Laer et al, 2011; Mapedzahama et al., 2012) that tacitly determine who or what belongs. Yet, such ideas of belonging could be seen as set within a far broader fabric of relations (cf. Lyotard, 1986). Here, social work is involved in accepting given forms of conduct; security is not simply derived through belonging, but becomes an established fact of ‘the way it is’, for good or ill (Cohen, 2001).
We aim to bring together the notion of belonging as perhaps ambivalent, partial and provisional (Rorty, 1979). How belonging acts as a force for distancing as much as bringing people together remains underexplored. We will examine current debates surrounding belonging, security and openness and bring them (and their other) to bear on the realities of organisations. We are interested in papers that critically examine the ways in which belonging can be seen through its Janus face (Latour, 1987; cf. Johnson, 1988); where belonging simultaneously opens and closes within the context of workplaces, communities and opportunities. The contemporary political economic climate may see a darker side to a concept of belonging (Ahmed, 2004), that works to distance others and reformulate belonging as a technology of distance (Gibson-Graham & Roelvink, 2010). This has strong implications for understanding the conditions and implications of security and belonging for contemporary work.
We encourage contributions that engage theoretically and empirically (pro and contra) with the challenges of belonging, security and openness, their other. In this sense, we warmly welcome papers that rethink openings [closings], belonging [longing] and precarity [security] wherever, however and whenever they may be found. For fear of a list foreclosing thinking about belonging, we remain open to any contribution that considers the relations between individuals, communities, as hosts, guests or those who are otherwise figured as other:
• What does it mean to belong?
• Is belonging imaginary?
• What does belonging accomplish?
• What are the mobilities of belonging?
• Does belonging exclude?
• Is there a politics of belonging?
• What, where and when do people belong?
• Is there a darker side to belonging?
• Is belonging ambivalent?
• What, where, when and within what broad contexts does belonging happen?
• What are the conditions and contexts from which feelings of belonging emerge?
• What do openings/closings accomplish?
Submission: Abstracts should be no longer than 750 words in length (excluding references), set in A4 page layout, single-spaced and in 12-point font. Should you feel you would like to explore our stream please e-mail your abstract together with your contact information to [log in to unmask] The deadline for submission of abstracts is Wednesday the 31st of January 2019, and we will notify you of our decision by the end of February.
Ahmed, S. (2004). Affective economies. Social Text, 22(2), 117-139.
Anderson, B. (1983). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. London: Verso Books.
Anderson, E. (2011). The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and civility in everyday life. New York: WW Norton & Company.
Cohen, A. (2001). States of Denial: Knowing About Atrocities and Suffering. Cambridge: Polity.
Cresswell, T. (1992). In place-out of place: geography, ideology, and transgression. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Derrida, J. (2001). On Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness. London: Routledge
Derrida, J., Dufourmantelle, A. (2000). Of Hospitality: Anne Dufourmantelle invites Jacques Derrida to respond. California: Stanford University Press.
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Essed, P. (1991). Understanding everyday racism: An interdisciplinary theory. London: Sage.
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Gibson-Graham, J.K., Roelvink, G. (2010). An Economic Ethics for the Anthropocene. Antipode, 41(s1), 320-346.
Haraszti, M. (1977). A Worker in a Worker’s State: piece rates in Hungary. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Hurdley, R. (2015). Pretty pants and office pants: making home, identity and belonging in a workplace. In: Taylor, Y., Casey, E. (Eds.). Intimacies, Critical Consumption and Diverse Economies. Palgrave Macmillan, London. (pp. 173-196).
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Latour, B. (1987). Science in Action: How to follow scientists and engineers through society. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
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Mapedzahama, V., Rudge, T., West, S., Perron, A. (2012). Black nurse in white space? Rethinking the in/visibility of race within the Australian nursing workplace. Nursing Inquiry, 19(2), 153-164.
Miller, D. (2008). The comfort of things. Cambridge: Polity.
Munro, R. (1998). Belonging on the move: market rhetoric and the future as obligatory passage. The Sociological Review, 46(2), 208-243.
Murcott, A. (1983). ‘It’s a pleasure to cook for him’: Food, Mealtimes and Gender in some South Wales Households. In: Garmarnikow, E., Morgan, D., Purvis, J., Taylorson, D. (Eds). The Public and the Private. Heinemann/British Sociological Association: London.
Parker, M. (2008). Eating with the Mafia: Belonging and violence. Human Relations, 61(7), 989-1006.
Rapport, N. (2006). Diaspora, cosmopolis, global refuge: three voices of the supranational city. In: Coleman, S., Collins, P. (eds.). Locating the Field: Space, Place and Context in Anthropology. Oxford: Berg, 179-197.
Rorty, R. (1979). Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Roy, D.F. (1980). Repression and incorporation. Fear stuff, sweet stuff and evil stuff: management's defences against unionization in the south. In Nichols, T. (Ed.). Capital and Labour: Studies in the Capitalist Labour Process. Glasgow: Fontana, 395-415.
Soja, E.W. (1998). Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and other real-and-imagined places. Capital & Class, 22(1), 137-139.
Van Laer, K., & Janssens, M. (2011). Ethnic minority professionals' experiences with subtle discrimination in the workplace. Human Relations, 64(9), 1203-1227.
Veijola, S., Molz, J. G., Pyyhtinen, O., Hockert, E., Grit, A. (2014). Disruptive Tourism and its Untidy Guests. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Weber, M. (1978). Economy & Society: an outline of interpretive sociology. Los Angeles: University of California Press.
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