19th Workshop of the Section “Cultures of Work” of the German Association of Cultural Anthropology and Folklore Studies (dgv), 11.–12. November 2021. Online Workshop
Workshop Programme as PDF
The online workshop gathers contributions on the subjective perspectives of actors (employees, freelancers, customers, and other stakeholders) on the moralization of organizations and on morality as organizational practice. It asks how they are affected by discourses on morality, how such discourses change organizational culture, hiring practices, work standards or modalities of employment.
The keynote will be given by Ellen Hertz (Neuchâtel). The workshop is preceded by a podium debate (in German) on “Gut arbeiten? Perspektiven auf Verantwortung und Gerechtigkeit in Unternehmen”, bringing together employers, union representatives, human resource officers, and scholars for a discussion of responsibility and justice in enterprises.
All events will be streamed online. We kindly ask for registration at firstname.lastname@example.org
MI, 10. NOV. 18.15–19.45 UHR
ÖFFENTLICHE PODIUMSDISKUSSION: Gut arbeiten? Perspektiven auf Verantwortung und Gerechtigkeit in Unternehmen
Mit Björn Beckmann (Schwarzwaldmilch Freiburg), Christine Jägle (Personalrat Universität Freiburg), Reiner Geis (verdi-Bezirk Südbaden), Corinna Kämpfe (Grünhof e.V.), Michael Maile (maile & partner / HfWU Nürtingen), Inga Wilke (Kulturanthropologie Universität Freiburg). Moderation: Sarah May, Stefan Groth
DO, 11. NOV 10.00–12.00 UHR
KOMMISSIONSSITZUNG: Kommission Arbeitskulturen in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde (dgv). Moderation: Manfred Seifert
Mittagspause/für alle in Freiburg: gemeinsames Mittagessen
THURSDAY, NOV. 11
14.00 — WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION
Stefan Groth, Sarah May, Johannes Müske
14.15–15.15 — PANEL I
Intensive Livestock Farming between Public Criticism and Economic Tension. An Insight Based on the Example of Straw Pig vs. Slatted Floor
Barbara Wittmann (München)
On the relations of Economy, Ecology and Ethics. Approaching a Cultural Analysis of Bioeconomical Practices
Sarah May, Lea Breitsprecher (Freiburg)
15.15–15.45 — BREAK
15.45–17.15 — PANEL II
Morality amidst Audit Culture: The Indicative Role of Quality Management Work
Ruzana Liburkina (Frankfurt)
Paradoxes of ‘Exorcism’ in the Garment Factories of Bangladesh: Auditing, CSR, and ‘New’ Dispossession
Tareq Mohammad Hasan (Leiden)
An Experimentalist Turn in Corporate Global Sustainability Governance in the Cocoa Sector?
Patrick Feuerstein (Berlin)
17.15–18.15 — BREAK
Business and Morality: The Limits of Goodwill
Ellen Hertz (Neuchâtel)
FRIDAY, NOV. 12
09.00–10.30 — PANEL III
The Credo of ‘Good Design’: Morality as a Design Practice in the Academic Training of Information Designers
Isabella Kölz (Würzburg)
Making Sense of Social Involvement with Disadvantaged Apprentices – Narrative patterns of Stakeholders in Profit-Oriented Companies
Anke Bahl (Bonn)
Making the ‘Social Business’ Work: Developers’ and Employees’ Perspectives on a Moralized Setting of Hospitality
Lisa Szepan (Göttingen)
10.30–11.00 — BREAK
11.00–12.00 — PANEL IV
Conflicting Morals in NPO-Fundraising
Christine Hämmerling (Zürich)
Moral(ity) Matters? Backgrounds and Implications of Organized Civil Society Engagement in Germany in the Aftermath of the ‘Brumadinho Dam Disaster’ (Minas Gerais, Brazil)
Theresa Mentrup (Mainz)
12.00–13.30 — BREAK
13.30–14.30 — PANEL V
‘Building Dream Ships.’ Cruise Shipyards, Precarity and Self-Organisation in the Northern Adriatic
Janine Schemmer (Klagenfurt)
The Moral Economy of Leadership in the Global Shipping Industry
Marie Grasmeier (Bremen)
14.30–15.00 — CLOSING REMARKS
Irene Götz (München), Johannes Müske (Freiburg)
Call for Papers
Organizations are increasingly the subject of moral debates. Calls for product boycotts due to norm transgressions or political engagement of organizations, developments of compliance management and corporate social responsibility standards, initiatives for supply chain laws, the implementation of labels for family friendliness or sustainability – to name a few examples – all address organizations in terms of their ethical conduct and guidelines. The positioning of organizations, including small and medium-sized enterprises, and non-governmental organizations, is publicly discussed and taken as a basis for consumer, client, and political decisions in a broad scope of topics, ranging from racism, diversity, environmental impact, and animal treatment to corruption, income inequalities, workers’ rights along supply chains, or customer relations. Both the perspectives of customers, organizations, and further stakeholders on such developments have been highlighted under the label of “ethical consumption” or vis-à-vis the fragility of organizations. However, the impact and effects of these contemporary processes on actors working in or for such organizations or subcontractors, both as employed or freelance workers, have so far only been dealt with tangentially or left as a blank spot.
The workshop asks for contributions on the subjective perspectives of actors (employees, freelancers, customers, and other stakeholders) on the moralization of organizations and on morality as organizational practice. It asks how they are affected by discourses on morality, how such discourses change organizational culture, hiring practices, work standards or modalities of employment.
We invite papers from ethnographic disciplines and neighboring fields, including practitioners and museums, to address, among other topics:
- How do actors in or connected to organizations position themselves in moral debates on organizations? Which practices do they employ to deal with or organize against perceived immoral organizational practices, e.g., as part of union activities? How do actors, e.g., as “norm brokers”, manage to position organizations in moral debates?
- How and by whom are employees, including self-employed persons, addressed and portrayed in public, media, personal debates, and in political processes? What kind of images of employees are drafted in such debates?
- How are employees confronted with measures connected to moral debates (within organizations as well as in contact with customers), e.g., as part of anti-discrimination trainings and legal regulations, with regard to guidelines on sustainability or anti-corruption, related to the effects of hiring practices or to models of participation and decision making?
- How do moral discourses shape organizations, and how are they used to influence or to justify certain decisions?
While the regional focus of the workshop is on Europe, contributions from other areas and dealing with global entanglements and supply chains are welcome. Presentations should be based on empirical research and should not have been published elsewhere. Your contribution to the workshop proceedings (planned with an international publisher) is expected.
Please send your paper proposals (paper title and abstract not exceeding 300 words), including name, email address, and a brief biographical note, until April 1, 2021 to email@example.com
- Sarah May, University of Freiburg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Johannes Müske, University of Freiburg (email@example.com)
- Stefan Groth, University of Zurich (firstname.lastname@example.org)