The elephant in the room: Critical management studies conferences as a site of body pedagogics

Bell, Emma and King, Daniel (2010). The elephant in the room: Critical management studies conferences as a site of body pedagogics. Management Learning, 41(4) pp. 429–442.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1350507609348851

Abstract

This article explores conferences as an inter-corporeal space wherein body pedagogics are enacted, enabling the acquisition of techniques, skills and dispositions that allow newcomers to demonstrate their proficiency as members of a culture. The bodies of conference participants constitute the surface onto which culture is inscribed, these normalizing practices enabling academic power relations to be constructed and identities internalized. An autoethnographic analysis of critical management studies (CMS) conferences forms the basis for identification of the bodily dispositions of control and endurance which characterize the proficient CMS academic. The article considers the potential silencing effects associated with these practices that generate a between-men culture that excludes difference and reinforces masculine values. It concludes by reviewing the implications of body pedagogics for understanding how other organizational cultures are constructed.

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