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Friday, January 16, 2015

CASCA2015 panel CFP: Associations at Work: Theorizing the Everyday Practices of Organizations


Associations at Work: Theorizing the Everyday Practices of Organizations

Session Co-Organizers: Laura Eramian (Dalhousie University) and Alicia
Grimes (York University)

Anthropologists of diverse theoretical leanings have increasingly
undertaken ethnographic studies of organizations, but what special
insights about the nature of modern social life and modern work does
organizational ethnography provide? This panel invites papers that
investigate the everyday practices of organizations across a range of
ethnographic settings, including (but not limited to) development and
humanitarian agencies, post-conflict peace building organizations,
non-profit/voluntary organizations, cultural or civic organizations,
regulatory bodies, private sector office settings, or public
sector/government organizations. We seek contributions that engage
with the theoretical, methodological, and ethnographic contributions
of organizational ethnography and its limits. In a broad sense, this
panel addresses the question of how the study of organizations and
bureaucratic assemblages contributes to understandings of how
collective projects unfold, encounter friction, succeed, and fail.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

- What is "organized" about organizations? How do formality and
informality intersect in
organizational practices? How and by whom do the categories of
formality and informality get configured?

- Knowledge production, document production, and the
circulation/blockage of information and resources in organizational

- The rules and practices underlying organizational reporting, or the
translation of measurements into narratives about organizational
values and project outcomes

- "Reputation management" and the stories that organizations tell
about themselves

- What do practices of measurement and reporting say about the social
auditing of organizational visions and the trust in projected outcomes?

- "Organization building" as a form of "community building"

- The contributions of organizational ethnography to anthropological theory

- The friendships and other relationships that constitute the practice
of organizational
ethnography and the role of the ethnographer in the organization

We invite contributions that deal with the issues outlined above
and/or related issues. Please send us an abstract of 100-150 words by
January 30, 2015 to and

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