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Dissertation Information for Paige Edley

- Paige Edley

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- Rutgers University (USA) (1997)

- Stanley Deetz

- Radha Hegde
- Betty Hasuet
- Tefko Saracevic

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Designing culture: A feminist study of power and gender in a woman-owned and operated interior design firm

Abstract: This feminist study of a small woman-owned interior design firm attempted to answer questions about the daily business practices of women working with and for women in a firm made up predominantly of women. Through participant observation and extended interviews I sought to answer questions regarding power, resistance, gender, and identity. How are power and resistance performed in the daily operations of this 13-person interior design firm? How are gendered roles performed in the process of doing work? How are unwritten rules and hidden norms of control constructed and perpetuated?

Utilizing the constitutive perspective of communication, as well as Martin's differentiated perspective of organizational culture, and Foucault's concepts of sovereign power and disciplinary power, I found a dominant culture of efficiency and explicitness and a counterculture of quality and professionalism. The young members performed counterculture as an alterative to the dominant culture's "lack of professionalism." They balked at the dominant culture's lack of distinction between private and public topics of discussion and dominant cultural members' crossing of gender boundaries in the owners' performances of masculinity.

I also found observable forms of power in the distinct hierarchy of owners and employees and in a system of public punishment combined with monetary punishment. I also found hidden forms of power in the unwritten rules used to suppress conflict. This suppression of conflict constituted a suppression of Hirschman's (1979) perspective of voice as opposition. Resistance was performed indirectly in the development of counterculture members' high standards of excellence in the performance of quality work and customer service achieved through negotiative dialogue with their clients. Negotiation with clients also provided counterculture members with their greatest incentive to work--their construction of self as expert. Through dialogue, counterculture members constructed a circular system of disciplinary power and managing the boss to ensure their own autonomy and identity construction through quality customer service and high sales figures. They satisfied their clients and the owners while achieving self-satisfaction and voice in Harding's concept of voice as the construction of knowledge.

MPACT Scores for Paige Edley

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:10:38

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Students under Paige Edley

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