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Embracing essentialism: a realist critique of resistance to discursive power

O'Mahoney, Joseph ORCID: 2012. Embracing essentialism: a realist critique of resistance to discursive power. Organization 19 (6) , pp. 723-741. 10.1177/1350508411420901

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This article argues that, contrary to its detractors, essentialism is a necessary concept in understanding resistance to managerial discourses. The article first suggests that essentialism, under a critical realist framing, need not suffer from the reductionism or determinism found in many 19th and 20th Century essentialized accounts of the self, arguing instead that the concept adds analytical power to explanatory theorizing. Next, taking three common post-Foundational presentations of resistance to managerialist discourses, the article proposes that, despite protestations to the contrary, each relies on essentialist representations of both discourse and the self. The article then seeks to tackle the ‘problem’ of essentialism head-on by showing its potential for both framing resistance and building bridges between the post-Foundational, realist and natural worlds.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical realism; discourse; essentialism; resistance
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1350-5084
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 09:45

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