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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 23 watching the sea for dolphins, listening to the children sing songs about shells, and browsing the town for treasures to bring home. Rather than being seduced by the sun, the sand, the beach and the freedom, this author was sedimented in the world of work and productivity. It took several fairly jarring comments to remind her that the values of productivity and work may not be appropriate in EVERY context. Ironically, but perhaps unfortunately familiar for many of us, going on vacation was uncomfortable, different, and “complicating.” Yet, we believe this type of situation—a complicating circumstance, context and set of values—forces different angles of repose, opportunities for reflection, and reflections of alternate values. In short, the process of embracing conflictual discourses encourages the continued (re)growth of a crystallized self. Afterall, to be “complicated is to take pleasure in the process rather than pleasure in the outcome” (Weick, 1979, p. 263). This process will take different forms for different people, but a crystallized self grows most beautiful in a world with a varied and layered array of discourses for us to enact and embody. “It is the conflict between these [managerialist and alternative] discourses which creates the possibility for new ways of thinking and new forms of subjectivity” (Weedon, 1996, p. 135). While we can not “freely” choose the discourses that constitute us (Foucault, 1980a, 1980b), a space for agency lies in our ability to traverse, intersect and hold in tension competing discourses and attendant ways of being, and encourage others, in our communities, to do the same. As crystallized selves we can appreciate and value different ways of being and understand ourselves not only as faking or realizing preferred identities, but as enacting different facets of our selves in different arenas. Conclusion Currently, the persistence of the real self-fake self dichotomy perpetuates a largely depoliticized workforce. When the individual is positioned as solely responsible for cultivating a preferred self (whether that be the manager who aligns with an organizational ideal or a front-line service worker who has to “fake it”), the social/political production of that self remains largely

Authors: Tracy, Sarah. and Trethewey, Angela.
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Real-SelfÅÆFake-Self Dichotomy
23
watching the sea for dolphins, listening to the children sing songs about shells, and
browsing the town for treasures to bring home.
Rather than being seduced by the sun, the sand, the beach and the freedom, this author was
sedimented in the world of work and productivity. It took several fairly jarring comments to
remind her that the values of productivity and work may not be appropriate in EVERY context.
Ironically, but perhaps unfortunately familiar for many of us, going on vacation was
uncomfortable, different, and “complicating.” Yet, we believe this type of situation—a
complicating circumstance, context and set of values—forces different angles of repose,
opportunities for reflection, and reflections of alternate values. In short, the process of embracing
conflictual discourses encourages the continued (re)growth of a crystallized self. Afterall, to be
“complicated is to take pleasure in the process rather than pleasure in the outcome” (Weick, 1979,
p. 263). This process will take different forms for different people, but a crystallized self grows
most beautiful in a world with a varied and layered array of discourses for us to enact and
embody. “It is the conflict between these [managerialist and alternative] discourses which creates
the possibility for new ways of thinking and new forms of subjectivity” (Weedon, 1996, p. 135).
While we can not “freely” choose the discourses that constitute us (Foucault, 1980a, 1980b), a
space for agency lies in our ability to traverse, intersect and hold in tension competing discourses
and attendant ways of being, and encourage others, in our communities, to do the same. As
crystallized selves we can appreciate and value different ways of being and understand ourselves
not only as faking or realizing preferred identities, but as enacting different facets of our selves in
different arenas.
Conclusion
Currently, the persistence of the real self-fake self dichotomy perpetuates a largely
depoliticized workforce. When the individual is positioned as solely responsible for cultivating a
preferred self (whether that be the manager who aligns with an organizational ideal or a front-line
service worker who has to “fake it”), the social/political production of that self remains largely


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