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Introduction: Re-institutionalisations

AuthorsCorsín Jiménez, Alberto
KeywordsAntropología de las organizaciones
Issue Date2007
CitationThe Anthropology of Organisations / edited by Alberto Corsin Jimenez, 2007
AbstractEvery so many years anthropologists become self‐conscious about the world of organisations. It seems as if the discipline needs to catch its breath and gain reassurance about its intellectual usefulness in and for the ontemporary world. The history of the discipline is full of such reflexive gestures and epochal re‐awakenings. They are often reminiscent of older debates, about anthropology’s colonial heritage (Asad 1973) or its service to industry and capitalism (Baritz 1960; Burawoy 1979). They take different shapes and forms, mostly to do with the ‘uses of anthropology’ (Tax 1964; e.g. Gildschmidt 1979; Hill and Baba 1998). The pragmatism underlying the exercise tends to circumscribe also the scope of the self‐evaluation, with the institutional worlds of policy‐making and business close to defining the very spirit of the project (Hinshaw 1980; Holzberg and Giovannini 1981; Bate 1997; Linstead 1997; Lewis 1999; Okongwu and Mencher 2000). All in all, in their different ways, such periodical re‐examinations are indicative of anthropology’s larger uneasiness with the applications of its trade (Eddy and Partridge 1978). Power and its institutions, it would seem, make anthropologists uncomfortable (Wright 1994: 20).
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