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"Who am I?": Identity, Self and Narrative within Organizational Contexts
Unformatted Document Text:  “Who am I?”- 15 PIN jc19265 God. Understanding work as a vocation, success, as measured in terms of profit and possession, became conceptualized as proof of an individual being one of God’s “disciples” and identity was understood in terms of this relationship. However, Weber (1930/1998) claimed that because capitalism was not natural or inherent for individuals, it could only be understood as the product of a long and arduous process of education and maintained through discursive practices. Marx (1906) argues that workers have become alienated from their work because of selling their labor. This division between self and work marks an important conceptual turn in how work is understood as a practice distinct from self and introduces the fundamental struggle between self, work and monetary attainment; both self and work function as powerful discursive influences on the formation of identity. Thompson (1967) further traces this division between self and work by focusing on the introduction of the time clock, used as an instrument to sell and control individual labor. Within this new accepted framework, around which time was now defined as money, individuals began to conceptualize time in terms of what they owed employers and what was their own. This sense of “what is mine and what is theirs” introduces questions of ownership (i.e. who owns an individual) and the idea that work practices, structured according to time and not to task, produce a sense of alienation, disenfranchisement and the splintering of self. While Marx (1906) examined the human cost of becoming an instrument of mechanized labor, Hochschild (1983) examined the cost of becoming an instrument of emotional labor, “which requires one to induce or suppress feeling in order to sustain the outward countenance that produces the proper state of mind in others” (Hochschild, 1983, p. 7). By repressing their individual feelings to match corporate scripts, employees are obligated to present a sense of self that is not congruent with their experiences of emotion. Because of this, emotions are not

Authors: Cattafesta, Joanne.
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“Who am I?”- 15
PIN jc19265
God. Understanding work as a vocation, success, as measured in terms of profit and possession,
became conceptualized as proof of an individual being one of God’s “disciples” and identity was
understood in terms of this relationship. However, Weber (1930/1998) claimed that because
capitalism was not natural or inherent for individuals, it could only be understood as the product
of a long and arduous process of education and maintained through discursive practices.
Marx (1906) argues that workers have become alienated from their work because of
selling their labor. This division between self and work marks an important conceptual turn in
how work is understood as a practice distinct from self and introduces the fundamental struggle
between self, work and monetary attainment; both self and work function as powerful discursive
influences on the formation of identity. Thompson (1967) further traces this division between
self and work by focusing on the introduction of the time clock, used as an instrument to sell and
control individual labor. Within this new accepted framework, around which time was now
defined as money, individuals began to conceptualize time in terms of what they owed
employers and what was their own. This sense of “what is mine and what is theirs” introduces
questions of ownership (i.e. who owns an individual) and the idea that work practices, structured
according to time and not to task, produce a sense of alienation, disenfranchisement and the
splintering of self.
While Marx (1906) examined the human cost of becoming an instrument of mechanized
labor, Hochschild (1983) examined the cost of becoming an instrument of emotional labor,
“which requires one to induce or suppress feeling in order to sustain the outward countenance
that produces the proper state of mind in others” (Hochschild, 1983, p. 7). By repressing their
individual feelings to match corporate scripts, employees are obligated to present a sense of self
that is not congruent with their experiences of emotion. Because of this, emotions are not


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