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I am Neo in the Matrix? Organized intercorporeality and dehumanization process

Géraldine Paring 1 Stéphan Pezé 2 
DRM - Dauphine Recherches en Management
Abstract : This paper explores the dehumanising processes arising from organizational control within the internal consulting department of a large European service organization. Our argument emerged from the participant observations and embodied experience of one of the authors as a former internal consultant. Drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s problematization of the human world in the Phenomenology of Perception (1962), we propose to consider organizational control as an organized intercorporeality, that is, a way to shape intersubjectivity through organizing bodies’ encounters and commingling. Through the narrative of a co-produced autoethnographic case example, we explore a range of sociomaterial practices that organize intercorporeality and find they are dehumanising to the extent they restrain the possibility to experience others and oneself as selves. We contribute to dehumanisation studies in three ways: 1/analytically, by bringing in a selfhood approach that does not rest upon an essentialist view of what it is to be human, or upon an analysis of objective conditions of work; 2/ theoretically, by exploring the role of organized intercorporeality in dehumanising processes; 3/ empirically, by studying dehumanising processes within a homogeneous group of individuals, and not between a powerful group and a powerless one.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 4, 2018 - 7:35:54 AM
Last modification on : Friday, January 21, 2022 - 3:35:19 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01675085, version 1



Géraldine Paring, Stéphan Pezé. I am Neo in the Matrix? Organized intercorporeality and dehumanization process. 33th EGOS Colloquium, Jul 2017, Copenhague, Denmark. ⟨hal-01675085⟩



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