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Title: Styles of Illusion
Authors: Armstrong, Peter
First Published: May-2001
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Citation: The Sociological Review, 2001, 49 (2), pp. 155-173
Abstract: This paper argues that one of the most prevalent styles in contemporary sociology-style referring to a complex of theory, method and treatment of the literature-systematically allows space for the misrepresentation of reality. The theoretical core of the style in question is a view of identity as formed through the active consumption of discourse, its preferred methodology is that of qualitative fieldwork whilst a largely impressionistic literature is treated as a source of authoritative commentary on the influence of specific discourses. The theoretical and methodological elements of this style interact so that its treatment of ethnographic data functions as a self-fulfilling prophecy for whatever presuppositions can be constructed from its treatment of the literature. This thesis is illustrated through an analysis of the claims made by Paul du Gay (1996), and Musson and Cohen (1997) that enterprise discourse had achieved hegemonic status in the UK during the last decade of the Twentieth Century.
DOI Link: 10.1111/1467-954X.00250
ISSN: 0038-0261
eISSN: 1467-954X
Version: Post print
Status: Peer reviewed
Type: Article
Rights: © The Editorial Board of The Sociological Review 2001. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website. The definitive version is available at
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Management

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