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Human Relations Special Issue Call for Papers: Constructing Identity Inorganizations

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Human Relations Special Issue Call for Papers: Constructing Identity Inorganizations

  1. 1. Human Relations special issue call for papers: Constructing identity in organizations Guest editors: Tom Keenoy, University of Leicester, Sierk Ybema, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Cliff Oswick, University of Leicester, Ida Sabelis, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Nick Ellis, University of Leicester and Armin Beverungen, University of Leicester. The notion of ‘identity’ may be regarded as a bridging concept between the individual and society. Its potential mediating quality lies in its dual character – it refracts both the self and social structure. And, through this dialectical process, social actors – individuals, groups, categories and associations – may develop a sense of self (and of others) in interaction with the social environment. Processes of identity formation are both reflexive and complex; they involve the naming, labelling, classifying and associating of both symbolic artefacts and social actors. It appears to be a dialogical process of social definition (and re-definition) through doctrinal discourses and/or the creation of shared beliefs through ‘symbolic violence’ and self-definition (e.g. via role embracing, emotional distancing, position taking, meaning making or rule breaking). Identity can thus be conceptualised as a complex, multifaceted, transient construct that is negotiated (and re-negotiated) in the dynamic interplay between internal strivings and external prescriptions, between self-presentation and labelling by others, between achievement and ascription, and between regulation and resistance. Identity and identities appear to be constructed somewhere ‘in between’ the communicator(s) and their audience(s). Unfortunately, this duality and complexity is often lost in pre-emptive accounts of social identification processes in organizations which focus on either internal or external definitions of the self, on the impact of macro discourses and institutions, on social actors accommodating to particular ‘subject positions’ or on the subjects’ own strategies of ‘self’-construction. In 3 9 5 Human Relations DOI: 10.1177/0018726707078244 Volume 60(2): 395–397 Copyright © 2007 The Tavistock Institute ® SAGE Publications Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore www.sagepublications.com
  2. 2. consequence, identity does not fully live up to its promise as a mediating concept. However, by adopting a focus on varieties of organizational discourse – for example, professional rhetorics, management discourses, everyday talk or shopfloor narratives – we may have access to a more up- close and in-depth view of the intricacies which inform the processes of identity construction in organizational settings. We invite conceptual contributions and papers that draw on in-depth empirical research which explores the ways in which organizational actors discursively construct and negotiate personal, professional or organizational identities. In particular, we invite papers that address alternative or frame- breaking constructions of identity and focus on the less obvious aspects of organizing – such as ideology, alterity, exclusion or taboos – and explore the identifications involved in alternative forms of organizing. In this respect, we would welcome papers with an idiosyncratic approach to the potential for multiple, contested, alternative, co-existing and unorthodox readings of the discursive processes implicated in creating and re-creating social identification. Potential topics include the following: • The tension between aspects of the social and the individual in the doing of identity work • Accounts of the contested, competing and contradictory nature of identity formation(s) • Situated studies of the everyday enactment of identity and selfhood • The interplay between personal, professional, organizational, and institutional identities • Self narration and imposed identity construction • Identity and subjectivity • Social processes of disruption, dislocation and transgression of identity in the workplace • The textual production and consumption of identity • Identity as a problematic, universal or faddish concept in the extant management literature • How transient identities are (re-)constituted in changing organizational relationships • Identity and the issue of ‘authenticity’ versus ‘impression management’ • Reflexivity and identity-construction These possible themes should be seen as illustrative rather than exhaustive. However, in order to be considered for inclusion, papers should offer new Human Relations 60(2) 3 9 6
  3. 3. or innovative accounts of identity and should be informed by a discourse analytic perspective. Contributors should note that: • This call is open and competitive, and the submitted papers will be blind reviewed in the normal way. • Submitted papers must be based on original material not under consideration by any other journal or outlet. • The editors will select five papers to be included in the special issue, but other papers submitted in this process may be published in other issues of the journal. The deadline for submissions is 15 June 2007. The special issue is intended for publication in the second half of 2008. Papers to be considered for this special issue should be submitted online via www.humanrelationsjournal.org. Please direct questions about the submission process, or any administrative matter, to Alice Gilbertson at editorial@humanrelationsjournal.org. The editors of the special issue are very happy to discuss initial ideas for papers, and can be contacted directly: Tom Keenoy Sierk Ybema Cliff Oswick t.keenoy@le.ac.uk sb.ybema@fsw.vu.nl c.oswick@le.ac.uk Call for papers 3 9 7

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