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The agile self: how cultural imperatives in the software sector inform subjectivity

Ciccone, Vanessa (2021) The agile self: how cultural imperatives in the software sector inform subjectivity. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This dissertation investigates the professional subjectivities of people working in the Canadian software industry, alongside industrial discourses within the sector. It researches the ways in which professionals in software are called to manage themselves and their emotions, and documents how these calls materialize in workplace technologies. It shows how emotion management is compelled by expectations of professional settings, and broader industrial norms, and documents how employees negotiate these expectations and norms. As part of this research a multi-sited ethnography was conducted, including several months of participant observation and interviews at a software company, as well as large-scale conferences and smaller events. The dissertation centers how professional software settings draw from self-improvement discourses, asking what this achieves for organizations and individuals. It shows the ways employees are compelled to understand and manage their inner worlds and exposes how the broader values of the industry are negotiated through subjectivity, and within everyday professional contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2021 Vanessa Ciccone
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Supervisor: Orgad, Shani and Gangadharan, Seeta Peña

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