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CHAT and governmentality: the uniform in the activities and management of migrant worker populations

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

Published
Publication date5/07/2014
Number of pages29
Pages1-29
Original languageEnglish
EventEGOS European Group for Organisational Studies - Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 2/07/20145/07/2014

Conference

ConferenceEGOS European Group for Organisational Studies
CountryNetherlands
CityRotterdam
Period2/07/145/07/14

Abstract

This paper focuses on the low-income migrant worker in an oil rich nation. Our first objective is to discuss the working conditions of migrants, exclusively through the lens of their clothing and uniforms. The second objective is to offer two contrasting accounts of the uniform, through Foucauldian governmentality and through cultural historical activity theory, or CHAT. The dual approach reveals insights into the uniform’s many functions, and draws attention to aspects of power and activity in CHAT and governmentality respectively.
In our discussion, we suggest that the uniform’s use by the migrant worker alone, does not do justice to its more complete role within the organisation and within society. We follow this up with a review of power and practice within both approaches aimed at launching further productive research and practical activity between both broad schools of thought. We conclude, that both that both Foucauldian and CHAT based studies can point to the expediency of researching power relations in organisations through discursive accounts material practices.