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Members Only: Place and Performativity in the City of London

Nash, Louise (2017) Members Only: Place and Performativity in the City of London. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Through its focus on the City of London as a particular work sector and setting, the thesis emphasizes the symbolic and material significance of place to understanding organizational life. The analysis, drawing primarily on Lefebvre’s theorisation of space as socially produced and on his work on rhythms, emphasizes how the socio-cultural and material aspects of the City are co-constitutive and both compel and constrain particular behaviours. These are explored with reference to fieldwork based upon photographic and interview data, as well as through embodied, immersive research methods. The thesis extends analyses of organizational space by asking how people both sense the wider space in which they work and how they make sense of it through their lived experience, and it enhances our understanding of the day to day experience of working life by extending the boundaries of what we usually think of as organizations. Asking what is particular about certain work places, both materially and culturally, and what this means for those who work within them, it begins with a review of the literature which discusses organizational space and place, the City of London as organizational setting, and the role that gender plays here. The methodological approach to the research is rooted in embodied, sensory methods based on experiencing the rhythms of place. The thematic findings are presented in two sections, and the discussion chapter moves from the empirical to a conceptual and theoretical analysis. In combination, the insights invite analysis of the conditions of membership – and the price of belonging– to the City of London. Arguing that places dominated by one particular industry sector can function as clubs, in that they have conditions of membership based upon being ‘fit for purpose’, what this means for those who are both ‘in’ and ‘out’ of place here is the main focus of the research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD58.7 Organizational behavior, change and effectiveness. Corporate culture
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Louise Nash
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2017 12:58
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2017 12:58
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/19757

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