Aesthetics and Emotion in an Organisational Ethnography


Speaker:Dr Kate Kenny, Lecturer in Political Science and Sociology, National University of Ireland
Date: Wednesday 14 April 2010
Time: 1600 hrs
Location: Xfi Seminar Room A

Further details

In this paper, I argue that an aesthetic approach can help us to better understand workplace ethnography. Ethnography is sensory by nature; it can incorporate a feeling of rightness and beauty in the experience of  ‘being-with’ the organisation being studied. The process is inherently aesthetic. I explore this argument with an in-depth account of a researcher’s experiences at a non-profit organisation. I identify the aesthetic of belonging that developed over time. This study shows how an aesthetic perspective helps us to understand the day to day experience of ethnography, and how it can be emotionally ambivalent and somewhat dark.

Kate Kenny is a Lecturer in Political Science and Sociology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She is a Fellow and visiting Lecturer at Cambridge University¹s Judge Business School, a fellow of the Cambridge European Trust, and held an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship from 2007-08. Her research interests include issues of identity and power in contemporary workplaces, and the use of poststructuralist feminist theory to explore these phenomena.  She is currently co-editing Studying Identity (Sage) with Hugh Willmott and Andrea Whittle.  Her work has been published in Human Relations, Gender Work and Organization and Journal of Organizational Change Management, among other places.