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The labour of identity: performing identities, performing economies

Adkins, L; Lury, Celia

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Recent analyses of workplace organization have stressed that the self-identity of workers constitutes a key resource in new regimes of accumulation. Moreover, this significance of self-identity has been understood to form part of an aestheticization of work since the techniques involved in the performance of identity are widely conceived as aesthetic or cultural practices. However, in this article we suggest that in these assumptions the questions of a person's relation to self-identity and of...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorAdkins, L
dc.contributor.authorLury, Celia
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T23:34:37Z
dc.identifier.issn0308-5147
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/93535
dc.description.abstractRecent analyses of workplace organization have stressed that the self-identity of workers constitutes a key resource in new regimes of accumulation. Moreover, this significance of self-identity has been understood to form part of an aestheticization of work since the techniques involved in the performance of identity are widely conceived as aesthetic or cultural practices. However, in this article we suggest that in these assumptions the questions of a person's relation to self-identity and of how the labour or work of identity may contribute to the political organization of production remain hidden. Through looking not just at the kinds of self-identity available to and performed by workers but also at the terms and conditions of their performance, we show that a person's self-identity is a key site of contestation in the struggle that maps out production. In particular, and through a focus on issues of gender and the body, we illustrate the ways in which workers may be denied authorship of their identities and the ability to claim their identity performances as occupational resources. Our analysis indicates that self-possessing workers with performable identities should not be universalized by theorists of the economic and, moreover, that considerations of the aestheticization of work need to be sensitive to what we term socio-cultural regimes of accumulation in which the implications of particular processes of aestheticization for the relation between self and identity and of both to production arc explored rather than assumed.
dc.publisherTaylor & Francis Group
dc.sourceEconomy and Society
dc.source.urihttp://www.worldcat.org/oclc/869212541
dc.subjectKeywords: Aestheticization; Body; Gender; Performance; Production; Self-identity
dc.titleThe labour of identity: performing identities, performing economies
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.description.refereedYes
local.identifier.citationvolume28
dc.date.issued1999
local.identifier.absfor140211 - Labour Economics
local.identifier.ariespublicationMigratedxPub24909
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationAdkins, L, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationLury, Celia, University of London
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.issue4
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage598
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage614
local.identifier.doi10.1080/03085149900000020
dc.date.updated2015-12-12T09:36:52Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-0005495451
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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