"This book overturns the conventional thinking about organization and identity and puts in its place a wholly new theoretical synthesis. It is not just an extraordinarily incisive commentary on modern life but it is also a key to thinking about identity in new ways which will prove an indispensable guide as we move beyond social constructionism. Remarkable."
- Nigel Thrift, Vice-Chancellor, The University of Warwick
"I have to say that as usual I find very refreshing Paul du Gay's courageous and unconventional approach, a clarity of vision that I find very appealing."
- Professor Marilyn Strathern, University Of Cambridge
Like many other popular academic terms, `identity' has been asked to do so much work that it has often ended up doing none at all and, as a consequence, there has been a recent turn away from identity work.
In this book, Paul du Gay moves identity theory in a new direction, offering a distinctive approach to studying how persons - human and non human - are put together or assembled: how their `identities' are formed. He does through an engagement with a range of work in the social sciences, humanities and in organization studies which privileges the business of description over metaphysical speculation and epochalist assertion.
At the heart of the book is an approach to the material-cultural making up of `persons' that involves a shift away from general social and cultural accounts concerning the formation of `subjectivity' and `identity' towards an understanding of the specific forms of personhood that individuals acquire through their immersion in and subjection to particular normative and technical regimes of conduct.
The book is written for postgraduate students and researchers interested in debates about identity, subjectivity and personhood in a range of disciplines - especially those in sociology, social anthropology, geography, and organization and management studies.
Paul du Gay is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at The Open University
Introduction: 'Identity' After 'The Moment of Theory' The Identity of Persons I The Identity of Persons II Which Is the 'Self' in 'Self-Interest'? 'Self-Service' Retail, Shopping and Personhood Re-Instating an Ethic of Bureaucratic Office Office, Ethos and Persona in Public Management The Tyranny of the Epochal 'Change', Epochalism and Organizational Casuistry The Trouble with "Governance" State, Bureaucracy and Freedom