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Book part
Publication date: 21 January 2019

Stefanie Ruel

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Stem-Professional Women’s Exclusion in the Canadian Space Industry
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-570-2

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Book part
Publication date: 6 December 2021

Alessandro De Cesaris

The debate concerning the Quantified-Self Movement (QS) has been extremely polarised. As Tamar Sharon has pointed out, each aspect of the lifestyle promoted by Gary Wolf…

Abstract

The debate concerning the Quantified-Self Movement (QS) has been extremely polarised. As Tamar Sharon has pointed out, each aspect of the lifestyle promoted by Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly has provoked opposite reactions, generating a debate that revolves around some basic conceptual dichotomies: empowerment versus surveillance, self-awareness versus reductionism, and personalised healthcare versus disintegration of public assistance (Sharon, 2017). The aim of this chapter is to provide a critique of QS, namely an assessment of its limits and its (technological and social) conditions of possibility. In particular, the author’s analysis will focus on the relationship between technology and subjectivity, and its main theoretical framework will be Michel Foucault’s research on the notion of ‘care for the self’ (Foucault, 1986, 2005). Quantification is an essential and unescapable aspect of our present technological environment. The devices that make our onlife (Floridi, 2014) possible are connected with a complex technological system made of GPSs, satellites, computers, and networks. Health is no longer managed through a distinct set of practices within the limits of a well-defined space (the hospital or the ambulatory), but it rather becomes a dataset integrated into a system where all aspects of life (health, law, leisure, work, social relations) are treated and managed simultaneously. This technological condition implies a new form of cognitive and practical delegation (Ippolita, 2016; Morozov, 2013), which makes the very notion of ‘self-tracking’ at least problematic. Individuals do not track themselves anymore: on the contrary, they are tracked by prosthetic extensions of their own bodies. This, however, does not mean that they do nothing. Our digital devices require a specific set of practices, a determinate way of life. The author will argue that these practices are the product of design, understood as a specific way of conceiving and organising the interaction between subject and technical object (Flusser, 1999). Through our technological environment, design reshapes the social and political function of bodies, their interaction and the set of practices connected to them (Bratton, 2015; Dyer, 2016; Vial, 2014). Automated quantification is an aspect of our designed user experience. As such, this chapter discusses design as a key element to understand the role of quantification in our digital milieu. It analyses the QS movement as a specific way of responding to our new technological condition. The main research question will be the following: is QS to be regarded as a simple acceptance of a new form of delegated – and thus alienated – subjectivity, or is it a kind of practice that allows the subject to overcome his passivity, and to take part in the process through which quantification is designed and managed? Is it possible to understand QS as a technology of the self (Foucault, 1988, 2005)?

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The Quantification of Bodies in Health: Multidisciplinary Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-883-8

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Book part
Publication date: 12 August 2009

John W. Mohr and Brooke Neely

The work of Michel Foucault is taken as inspiration for a study of the organizational field of asylums, prisons, orphanages, and other carceral organizations operating in…

Abstract

The work of Michel Foucault is taken as inspiration for a study of the organizational field of asylums, prisons, orphanages, and other carceral organizations operating in New York City in 1888. Foucault argues that institutional power is organized into dually ordered system of truth and power. Using text data describing the clients and institutional technologies (organizational “power signatures”) of 168 organizations, we apply structural equivalence methods to unpack speech activity, showing that as Foucault suggests, there may be dually ordered sub-domains of truth and power that help define the underlying logic of this institutional field.

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Institutions and Ideology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-867-0

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Book part
Publication date: 9 March 2016

Abstract

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Organization Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-946-6

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2020

Bradley Bowden and Peta Stevenson-Clarke

Postmodernist ideas – most particularly those of Foucault but also those of Latour, Derrida and Barthes – have had a much longer presence in accounting research than in…

Abstract

Purpose

Postmodernist ideas – most particularly those of Foucault but also those of Latour, Derrida and Barthes – have had a much longer presence in accounting research than in other business disciplines. However, in large part, the debates in accounting history and management history, have moved in parallel but separate universes. The purpose of this study is therefore one of exploring not only critical accounting understandings that are significant for management history but also one of highlighting conceptual flaws that are common to the postmodernist literature in both accounting and management history.

Design/methodology/approach

Foucault has been seminal to the critical traditions that have emerged in both accounting research and management history. In exploring the usage of Foucault’s ideas, this paper argues that an over-reliance on a set of Foucauldian concepts – governmentality, “disciplinary society,” neo-liberalism – that were never conceived with an eye to the problems of accounting and management has resulted in not only in the drawing of some very longbows from Foucault’s formulations but also misrepresentations of the French philosophers’ ideas.

Findings

Many, if not most, of the intellectual positions associated with the “Historic Turn” and ANTi-History – that knowledge is inherently subjective, that management involves exercising power at distance, that history is a social construct that is used to legitimate capitalism and management – were argued in the critical accounting literature long before Clark and Rowlinson’s (2004) oft cited call. Indeed, the “call” for a “New Accounting History” issued by Miller et al. (1991) played a remarkably similar role to that made by Clark and Rowlinson in management and organizational studies more than a decade later.

Originality/value

This is the first study to explore the marked similarities between the critical accounting literature, most particularly that related to the “New Accounting History” and that associated with the “Historic Turn” and ANTi-History in management and organizational studies.

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Journal of Management History, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

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Article
Publication date: 18 February 2020

Scott Hamilton Dewey

To provide a close, detailed analysis of the frequency, nature, and depth of visible use of Michel Foucault's works by library and information science/studies (LIS) scholars.

Abstract

Purpose

To provide a close, detailed analysis of the frequency, nature, and depth of visible use of Michel Foucault's works by library and information science/studies (LIS) scholars.

Design/methodology/approach

The study conducted extensive full-text searches in a large number of electronically available LIS journal databases to find citations of Foucault's works, then examined each cited article to evaluate the nature and depth of use.

Findings

Most uses of Foucault are brief or in passing. In-depth explorations of Foucault's works are comparatively rare and relatively little-used by other LIS scholars. Yet the relatively brief uses of Foucault encompass a wide array of different topics spread across a wide spectrum of LIS journal literature.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to articles from particular relatively prominent LIS journals. Results might vary if different journals or non-journal literature were studied. More sophisticated bibliometric techniques might reveal different relative performance among journals and might better test, confirm, or reject various patterns and relationships found here. Other research approaches, such as discourse analysis, social network analysis, or scholar interviews, might reveal patterns of use and influence not visible in this literature sample.

Originality/value

This intensive study of both quality and quantity of citations may challenge some existing assumptions regarding citation analysis, plus illuminating Foucault scholarship. It also indicates possible problems for future application of artificial intelligence (AI) approaches to similar depth-of-use studies.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Charles F. Abel

While mainstream organization theory has contributed to making organizations a productive part of society, they have simultaneously contributed to the creation of a “dark…

Abstract

While mainstream organization theory has contributed to making organizations a productive part of society, they have simultaneously contributed to the creation of a “dark side” of organizational existence that stifles the individual, frustrates the attainment of desired social ends and distorts many core values of democratic societies. Mainstream theory recognizes this “dark side,” but has been unsuccessful at suggesting how it might be ameliorated or avoided. The writings of Foucault, however, reveal not only how the “dark side” arises but also how it might be avoided so that organizations may develop and pursue interests in common with both society and the individual.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2009

Jennifer L. Eagan

In Postmodern Public Administration: Toward Discourse (1995), Fox and Miller call for a postmodern discourse that can radicalize the reformist tendencies in public…

Abstract

In Postmodern Public Administration: Toward Discourse (1995), Fox and Miller call for a postmodern discourse that can radicalize the reformist tendencies in public administration theory. This first edition neglects a powerful ally that can deepen this view of the decentered subject and illuminate some roadblocks to postmodern discourse theory, Michel Foucault. This paper challenges Fox and Millerʼs phenomenological notion of the self and offers Foucaultʼs characterization of the subject as an alternative that addresses how selves are created in and through discourse. This paper argues that the redemption of authentic discourse that Fox and Miller desire is not possible precisely because of the nature of the subject as already constituted. However, this does not mean that rich discourse ceases. Political ethics are still possible for deformed and decentered subjects.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Katarzyna Kosmala and John Francis McKernan

This conceptual paper aims to elucidate and explore the implications for critical accounting and management of some of the ethical dimensions of Foucault's thought…

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2072

Abstract

Purpose

This conceptual paper aims to elucidate and explore the implications for critical accounting and management of some of the ethical dimensions of Foucault's thought, hitherto comparatively neglected by critical scholars.

Design/methodology/approach

Foucault's late works are read as offering a view of the cultivation of ethical agency through the work of the self on the self, through care of the self, which at least implicitly gives priority to care for the other. This notion of moral agency is situated in the context of the broad spectrum of Foucault's influence on critical accounting and management thought, and its significance for professional responsibility in the workplace is explored.

Findings

It was found that the accounting and management scholarship that has drawn on Foucault's work on care of the self tends to marginalize its ethical dimension, in particular by neglecting the role of openness to, and responsibility for, the other, in the processes of ethical self‐creation.

Originality/value

It is emphasised that in his later works Foucault puts responsiveness to difference and responsibility for the other at the centre of his ethical project of the self, and it is argued that this opening up of the moral dimension in his work has the potential to enrich the ways in which critical scholarship addresses issues such as professional agency and responsibility, identity politics, and governance in the workplace.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Scott Hamilton Dewey

The purpose of this paper is to provide a close, detailed analysis of the frequency, nature, and depth of visible use of two of Foucault’s classic early works, The

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1481

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a close, detailed analysis of the frequency, nature, and depth of visible use of two of Foucault’s classic early works, The Archaeology of Knowledge and The Order of Things, by library, and information science/studies (LIS) scholars.

Design/methodology/approach

The study involved conducting extensive full-text searches in a large number of electronically available LIS journal databases to find citations of Foucault’s works, then examining each citing article and each individual citation to evaluate the nature and depth of each use.

Findings

Contrary to initial expectations, the works in question are relatively little used by LIS scholars in journal articles, and where they are used, such use is often only vague, brief, or in passing. In short, works traditionally seen as central and foundational to discourse analysis appear relatively little in discussions of discourse.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to a certain batch of LIS journal articles that are electronically available in full text at UCLA, where the study was conducted. The results potentially could change by focussing on a fuller or different collection of journals or on non-journal literature. More sophisticated bibliometric techniques could reveal different relative performance among journals. Other research approaches, such as discourse analysis, social network analysis, or scholar interviews, might reveal patterns of use and influence that are not visible in the journal literature.

Originality/value

This study’s intensive, in-depth study of quality as well as quantity of citations challenges some existing assumptions regarding citation analysis and the sociology of citation practices, plus illuminating Foucault scholarship.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 72 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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