Distinctively non-distinct: Interweaving discourses ‘making up’ the branding occupation

Organisation Studies

Speaker:Bernadette Loacker, University of Lancaster
Date: Wednesday 16 March 2016
Time: 14:30
Location: Pearson Teaching Room, Building One

Further details

This paper explores how the occupation of branding and the work it encompasses are discursively constituted and ‘made up’. It starts with the premise that branding is a cultural intermediary occupation about whose norms and practices we cannot assume certainty, stability, or homogeneity. The study evokes and illustrates how branding is comprised of multiple social and occupational discourses, namely ‘creativity’, ‘discovery’, ‘business’ and ‘morality’. Rather than stand alone, these discourses dynamically interweave and intersect. Consequently, branding emerges as an occupation with distinct liminal conditions, being simultaneously about art, science, business and social-relational work. Instead of moving towards stability, our findings suggest that branding is an intermediary occupation that sustains rather than discontinues liminality and that enduring liminality lends itself to the non-distinctiveness of the occupation. For branders, occupying a liminal occupational position implies various challenges, but similarly scopes for flexibility and autonomy.