Drawing on recent research in feminist and cultural economic geography, as well as queer and affect theory, in this paper I examine the construction of ideas of workplace culture in the context of digital media work in San Francisco. I argue that in this context, workplace culture is produced as an idea that functions to describe certain individuals and behaviors as in or out of alignment with the firm’s established and gendered norms. I frame these observations around a discussion of affect and emotion in the workplace through a critical examination of interviews with workers in this setting. Drawing on Ngai’s framing of confidence as the tone of capitalism, and Berlant’s notion of underperformativity, I emphasize the gendered and affective dimensions of accumulation in the digital media sector, and how ideas of culture are discursively and materially constructed rather than natural or existing prior to their circumstances of production. In a practical sense, reproductions of a culture–economy dualism implicate gendered and other forms of discrimination in the workplace in terms of hiring practices, uneven distributions of (often emotional and unremunerated) work, and how difference in the workplace is valued or undermined.
Environment and Planning A – SAGE
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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