The purpose of this paper is to examine the monstrous in organizational diversity by introducing the concept of cultural anthropophagy to the diversity literature. Using Kristeva's notion of abjection to better understand cultural anthropophagy, the paper argues that cultural anthropophages cross boundaries, and build identity through desire for and aggression toward valued others.
The paper uses a conceptual discussion of abjection, along with a historical survey of anthropophagic approaches from Brazilian art and cultural studies.
Anthropophagic approaches highlight unique features of organizational identity, framing identity formation as a fluid process of expulsion and re-integration of the other. While abjection approaches focus on the exclusion of material aspects of the self and the formation of self-other boundaries, anthropophagy focusses on the re-integration of the other into the self, in a symbolic gesture of re-integration, desire, and reverence for the other.
The idea of anthropophagy is a recent entrant into the organizational literature, and the close relation between anthropophagy and abjection is illuminated in the current paper. Original insights regarding the search for positive identity, the ambivalence of self and other, and the relation of the particular and the universal, are offered with regards to the diversity literature.
Islam, G. (2014), "Appropriating the abject: an anthropophagic approach to organizational diversity", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 33 No. 7, pp. 595-613. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-03-2012-0023Download as .RIS
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