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Fear and (self) loathing in Coleridge Close: Management in crisis in the 1970s sitcom

Hancock, P (2008) 'Fear and (self) loathing in Coleridge Close: Management in crisis in the 1970s sitcom.' Organization, 15 (5). 685 - 703. ISSN 1350-5084

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In this paper my ambition is to contribute to the study of images of organizing in popular culture in two ways. Drawing in particular on the work of the German philosopher and critical theorist Ernst Bloch, I firstly argue for the utility of a dialectical approach to the interrogation of cultural artefacts, one that recognizes the co-existence of both ideological and critical content as integral to the artefact itself. I then illustrate this approach through a textual analysis of several British television situation comedies of the 1970s. In doing so, I argue that throughout this period it is possible to discern a deep-seated cultural unease with the role and legitimacy of organizational management within what was an unstable industrial and economic environment. I conclude by reflecting not only on the implications of this particular finding, but also on the utility of adopting such a theoretical orientation. One that simultaneously attends to both the deeply ideological content and structure of such material while, at the same time, retaining an orientation prepared to pursue the critical and potentially utopian content that remains within. Copyright © 2008 SAGE Publications.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Jo Wiltshire
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2013 12:19
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 16:22

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