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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The obsession with securing recognition through identity pervades organizational, institutional, political, and everyday life. As academics, our culpability in promulgating this fascination, or idée fixe is indisputable, for as a collective body we are responsible for a proliferation of articles, books, and conference streams on identity. However, apart from a few exceptions, the majority of texts fail to interrogate the concept to uncover its dangers, but instead reproduce the everyday common-sense fascination, indeed addictive, preoccupation with seeking order, stability, and security through identity. In this chapter, the authors expose this neglect within the organization studies literature and argue that it contributes to, rather than challenges, some of the major social ills surrounding identity—discrimination and prejudice, aggressive masculine competition, conquest and control, and the growing identity politics of nationalist, if not xenophobic and racist, constructions of boundaries and borders.

Keywords: attachment, identity politics, identity work, security, self-defeating, stability

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