Doing business in a South African Township: Considering a role for ressentiment as situated narrative and theory of power

Douglas Racionzer

Abstract


This paper argues for an interpretive approach to theorizing as more than merely the assertion of truth-claims but in addition, as a social process that narrates the ordering and simplification of reality effects. Mary Douglas' (1975) notion of the pangolin as a reflexive mediating concept able to "speak" to both macro and micro social theories is recommended. Ressentiment as just such a pangolin-like concept is proposed and its usefulness is explored in an organizational case study, made up of three vignettes, of doing business in a South African township. The role for ressentiment in an interpretive theory of power is considered.

Keywords


BUSINESS; POWER (Social sciences); SOUTH Africa; NARRATIVES; THEORY

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