Friday, October 13, 2006

Systems systems systems

Getting away from my superstition from last time, let me add now that my breakthrough was finally seeing the really big picture. Because my book isn't just about management qua management, because management isn't just management (as it's been represented in rhet/comp, whether it's certain kinds of leftists who says it's bad because it's capitalist or the other people who say WPAs aren't managers, dammit). Management is a function that, as James Beniger says, became important because of a "crisis of control," a crisis that emerged with the information economy.

That's still not saying much, is it? And then there's this: when am I going to get around to reading Latour?


jeff said...

Would you say, then, that management is not a position (capitalist) or another position (it's not capitalist), but also a process?

A series of concerns?

Or, following Joe Harris, a series of responses and interactions?

Donna said...

I think, yes, that is what I would say. Which isn't to say, however, that management doesn't get aligned with positions, because it does. But just as rhetoric, ultimately, is about relationships rather than positions (even as it gets deployed positionally), so is management.

Where does Joe Harris talk about that? In his response to Bousquet?

jeff said...

A Teaching Subject.

Mike @ Vitia said...

J.K. Gibson-Graham on class-as-process might be useful, since she/they indicate that (1) what we understand as economic activity (including management) under late capitalism is not unitary, monolithic, or heterogeneous and (2) by implication, management is an essential component of both the production and distribution of the value of surplus labor (including that of writing and teaching). Her/their introduction with Resnick and Wolff to Class and Its Others provides a usefully brief overview their perspective.

Mike @ Vitia said...

dur. "heterogenous" should read "homogenous"

Donna said...

Right--Harris's chapter on process. That occurred to me later as probable. Thanks, Jeff.

And, yes, another reason to get to Gibson-Graham asap. (I only recently realized they were two. "Dur" for me. Did you get a chance to work with the one of them who teaches at UMass?) Thanks for the reference to the briefer piece, Mike.

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