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Fracturing the Real-Self<-->Fake-Self Dichotomy: Moving Toward Crystallized Organizational Discourses and Identities
Unformatted Document Text:  Real-SelfÅÆFake-Self Dichotomy 2 Abstract In this paper we offer new interpretations of critical empirical analyses of identity construction processes at work and focus on the ways in which the dichotomy between the “real” self and the “fake” self is created and maintained through organizational talk, practices and theories, such emotion labor. We argue that marginalized members often label their organizational selves as “fake” and/or compartmentalize public and private selves, while more privileged employees are encouraged to align their seemingly “real” selves with the preferred or idealized organizational self. The dichotomy has several discursive and material implications for members and organizations. Specifically, it encourages strategized self-subordination, perpetually-deferred identities, “auto-dressage,” and the production of “good little copers.” We close by presenting the metaphor of the “crystallized self” as an alternative to the real self-fake self dichotomy and suggest that communication scholars are well-poised for developing alternative vocabularies and understandings of identity within the popular imagination.

Authors: Tracy, Sarah. and Trethewey, Angela.
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Real-SelfÅÆFake-Self Dichotomy
2
Abstract
In this paper we offer new interpretations of critical empirical analyses of identity construction
processes at work and focus on the ways in which the dichotomy between the “real” self and the
“fake” self is created and maintained through organizational talk, practices and theories, such
emotion labor. We argue that marginalized members often label their organizational selves as
“fake” and/or compartmentalize public and private selves, while more privileged employees are
encouraged to align their seemingly “real” selves with the preferred or idealized organizational
self. The dichotomy has several discursive and material implications for members and
organizations. Specifically, it encourages strategized self-subordination, perpetually-deferred
identities, “auto-dressage,” and the production of “good little copers.” We close by presenting
the metaphor of the “crystallized self” as an alternative to the real self-fake self dichotomy and
suggest that communication scholars are well-poised for developing alternative vocabularies and
understandings of identity within the popular imagination.


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