Organization Identity:

1-An introduction to, and explanation of the key idea or theory from the module that you wish to focus on in your essay 

2-The application of your chosen idea or theory to some aspect of your lived experience, as developed through a commentary on the three interrelated photographs, and including details of your experiences of coming to see things differently through your relationship to this idea (image 1, image 2, image 3).

3) A discussion of the insights you have gained, including in particular with regard to their value for better-understanding human relations in management and organization, as developed through your relation to the module ‘four concepts’ (identity-insecurity; power-inequality).


The essay should have a cover page with title and other details, and be formatted as follows: Times font 10.5 or higher; double line spacing, justified margins, with numbered pages and paragraph line breaks. You should create your own title and put this on the cover page. The title should be formatted like this: Your title here: A Photo Essay

+give numbered titles to photos (e.g. Image One: Image title ).


Some Resources:

Knights, D. & Willmott, H. (1999), Management Lives: Power and Identity in Work Organizations London: Sage


Blumer, H. (1969), The Methodological Position of Symbolic Interactionism, from Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method, London: University of California Press, ch. 1 NB. pp. 1-21 only


Knights & Willmott (1999), ‘Symbolic Interactionism: Meaning and Self’, in Management Lives, pp. 68-76


Lawler, S. (2013), ‘Identity as a Question’ and ‘Stories, Memories, Identities’, from Identity: Sociological Perspectives, Cambridge: Polity, ch. 1, 2


Knights & Willmott (1999), Management Lives, ch. 2: ‘Organizing work’

Bauman, Z. & May, T. (2001), ‘Oneself with Others’, Thinking Sociologically, London: Blackwell, ch. 1. Bauman, Z (2001), Lives Told and Stories Lived: An overture, The Individualised Society, Cambridge: Polity, preface.


Giddens, A., Modernity and Self-Identity, esp. ch. 1 and 2


***Grey, C. (1994), Career as a Project of the Self and Labour Process Discipline, Sociology, 28(2): 479-497


***Van Dijk, J. (2013), “You Have One Identity”: Performing the Self on Facebook and LinkedIn, Media, Culture and Society, 35(2): 199-215



 The Presentation of Self:

To appreciate the role of images and ideals of the self in the formation of identity, and the ways in which these can be a source of both security and insecurity, and in unstable ways.

Q. What difference do forms of social mediation make for our sense of selfhood and for our relations with others?

Q. What challenges might these forms of sociability entail for navigating the boundaries between life and work?

Q. In what ways might such mediated practices of self-presentation pose challenges to our sense of authentic inner selfhood?


Some other resources:

Buckingham, D., Introducing Identity, in Youth, Identity and Digital Media, pp. 1- 22; see also rest of volume BUS302 Module outline 2021-22 30


Ibrahim, Y. (2018) Production of the ‘Self’ in the Digital Age, Palgrave Macmillan.


Miller, P. & Rose, N. (1997), Mobilizing the Consumer: Assembling the subject of consumption, Theory, Culture and Society, 14(1): 1-36


Miller, V., Identity, in Understanding Digital Culture, ch. 7.


Rose, N. (1996) Inventing Our Selves: Psychology, Power and Personhood, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Freire, P. (1974), Pedagogy of the Oppressed, ch. 2 (about formal way of working and learning, textbook studying)

You will therefore be assessed on four things: 

(1) Your ability to explain and contextualise your chosen idea(s) using appropriate supporting material. To do this well requires a close scholarly relationship to particular texts, complete with appropriate referencing. Signs of further reading will certainly be expected for higher marks (i.e. 2:1; 1st class). 

(2) Your ability to apply your chosen idea(s) to a specific example and to draw out the connections in proper detail and demonstrating the insights that were gained and sharing your own experience of coming to see something differently from how you saw it before. 

(3) Your ability to link the above experience back to questions concerning human relations in management and organisation. Stronger answers should also be able to 4 demonstrate a feel for wider module themes, while keeping a focus on your chosen idea or topic. 

(4) Adhering to the guidelines for presentation, formatting and referencing is also important – as detailed in the next section. 

The text of the essay should include the following three things, ideally in this order and likely in their separate sections: 

1) An introduction to, and explanation of the key idea or theory from the module that you wish to focus on in your essay – with demonstration of reading / further reading to help contextualise your chosen focus. 

2) The application of your chosen idea or theory to some aspect of your lived experience, as developed through a commentary on the three interrelated photographs, and including details of your experiences of coming to see things differently through your relationship to this idea (image 1, image 2, image 3). 

3) A discussion of the insights you have gained, including in particular with regard to their value for better understanding human relations in management and organisation, as developed through your relation to the module ‘four concepts’ (identity-insecurity; power-inequality). 

4) The aspect of your lived experience that you choose may be some aspect of your personal or family life, or it could derive from your participation in education, paid employment, community groups, leisure time or other aspects of daily life.


Q. What do we mean by ‘thinking sociologically’ and why is this important on the module? 

A. By ‘thinking sociologically’ (esp. wk 5 & 6) we mean developing an appreciation of how problems or experiences of a ‘personal’ nature are always-already also ‘social’ experiences, as a feature of our necessary participation in wider social relations. Similarly, as we will be exploring on the module, we would not expect be able to understand such wider social relations without exploring how these get mediated through the lived experiences of its participants. As we will be exploring through the first half of term, this is distinct from individualistic forms of psychological thought such as seen in behaviourism, which tend to treat the individual in an isolated way, or relational psychologies such as symbolic interactionism which explore interactions within bounded, localised groups, but which are abstracted from their place in wider social formations, cultures, transformations etc. (though as we explore in week 4, Blumer starts to develop a sociological appreciation of this through the notion of ‘joint action’).

Q. What does it mean ‘to show how one or other idea may have helped you to see something different from the way you saw it before?

 A. Think of this a bit like the experience of going to the cinema and seeing a thought-provoking film, and the way the world can look different when you leave the cinema from when you went in, even though it is the same street you walked down on the way there. In this module, we appreciate how ideas, theories and academic texts can change our ways of seeing and being in the world, in a similar way to the way a good film or novel can. This is one of the reasons why the watching of quality films and reading of novels are things we promote and share within the module. It would therefore be great to hear about your own transformative experiences that may have taken place during the module in your photo essays, developed and made sense of through close relation to module materials

Q. What is the role of the Knights & Willmott text?

 A. As stated in the module outline, the Knights & Willmott (1999) Management Lives text is designated as a companion text rather than a textbook. This is to make clear that this is not a compendium of all the things in the module, nor a substitute for the key readings we will be working with together in the weekly seminars. I strongly recommend Management Lives however as a support to our week-to-week learning and to help you orient yourself in the module as a whole. As the module goes on the ‘four concepts’ that Knights & Willmott explore in the book will become increadingly important for us in how we think about relations in management and organisation and more broadly, and so it will become an important resource for your understanding. You will also see sections of the book provide our set seminar readings in weeks 3 and 8, and that I recommend particular chapters from this text in the topic-by-topic further reading lists. Let me be clear though that the Knights & Willmott text is not a substitute for engagement with the main module materials and will not suffice as a single resource for your photo essay.

Q. What is the role of Knights & Willmott’s ‘four concepts’ model? A. The ‘four concepts’ model is not a theory as such, but more of a learning aid, to make sure that we understand these different elements in their interrelations rather than separately: so if you find yourself focussed on themes of identity you don’t forget to explore them in their interrelation with experiences of insecurity; or if you find yourself focussed on this identity-insecurity relation, that it can provide a helpful reminder that you should be considering the significance of its interrelation with themes of power and inequality, and vice versa, as a way of making sense of everyday lived experience, both in organisational life and more broadly. (4 concepts: Insecurity, power, inequality and identity)

Q. How might symbolic interactionist perspectives enhance our understanding of relations in the workplace and of the task of management?

-Should choose one specific source as a reference and focus on it and make an in-depth analysis, then use the others as secondary sources.

-Should not use off-module resources. Only use module resources!

-Talk about thinking sociologically very much in the essay.

-Link the ideas to 4 concepts: identity, insecurity, power and inequality



Work vs leisure are seperate things. Are they really?


Networking is part of working. Whether on social media, whether in social events, socialization can bring many work opportunities and this is very important in the digitalized World. (Networking&being aware of the chances and opportunities around you)

Importace of social relations + If we focus on formal learning and working too much, we might miss the importance of informal (making use of leisure time and be aware of networking opportunities such as networking in events). (textbook management- how useful is only learning theoretical information but not putting it into practical?- vs alternative working options such as networking // formal vs informal)

Individual can be aware of the chances in his life and understand its own experience only if he/she becomes aware of the individuals in his/her circumstances.”

Society is created and maintained through face to face, repeated, meaningful interactions among individuals.” (thinking sociologically)

Communications between people evolve through processes of interaction in which they make and interpret symbolic indications to one another, in the form of speech and gestures.

"Network sociality: Development of information and communicaiton technologies, the process of globalization and individualization rised network sociality."

4 concepts:

Inequality: How does inequalities in workplaces reflect on workers’ behaviours during social events/parties? (Status, pay and inequality)

Power: More followers on social media, verified accounts are considered as powerful traits as when self is presented, they impress the viewer, more networking opportunities

Identity: Identity describes the status that is widely ascribed to a person. How does a person become aware of their identity in order to present themselves while networking, to impress the person they are talking to? Is being attached to an identity needed to impress more/network better?

Insecurity: How does feeling insecure about self reflect on behaviours during social events/parties? -Confidence levels- (2nd photo, not aware of the opportunities around) does social media make you feel insecure?


+covid effect: We became highly individualised. How did this affect participating in social relations (Symbolic interactionism vs individualism)

My three photos:

1-    A PERSON WHO IS NETWORKING IN THE PARTY (making use of the moment, being aware of opportunities)

2-    A PERSON WHO STANDS ALONE/CHECKS PHONE (not aware of the opportunities)


2) KEY MODULE IDEA / THEORY / READING: Wittel (2001) Toward a Network Sociality


 3) ASPECT OF YOUR LIVED EXPERIENCE: As I am a member of Soho House community, I have experienced how networking in events can be a way to enhance work opportunities and to practise social relations. Digital cultures and identities: Soho house app and networking through the app, how technology and the app helps making connections, digitalization and increased networking opportunities +Sofar events are great example of how socialization and networking can be considered as work. In Sofar events, musicians perform their work for 10-15 minutes and then socialize with the community that purchased tickets for that event. Also, I am a singer-songwriter who built her career through the cover videos that I posted on Instagram during quarantine times. After that, many musicians, managers and label owners contacted me and now I am signed with a big label, releasing songs with them. Without social media, I would not be able to grow my fanbase especially during covid-19 when digitalization got so important and live concerts and physical connections were prohibited. I would not be able to contact such important people to get recognized and start my music career. 


maybe: -Associations of the words ‘event’ and ‘party’ (Blumer’s approaches, ways to reside meaning, source of meaning)

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