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Challenging and destabilizing official discourses: irony as a resistance resource in institutional talk

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Malin Wieslander
Publicerad i Culture and Organization
Sidor 17
ISSN 1475-9551
Publiceringsår 2019
Publicerad vid Institutionen för sociologi och arbetsvetenskap
Sidor 17
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1080/14759551.2019.16...
Ämnesord Irony, humour, police culture, criticism, resistance, humor, police, joking, Business & Economics
Ämneskategorier Företagsekonomi, Sociologi

Sammanfattning

The article examines Swedish police students' and officers' situational use of irony as a resource for engaging in workplace resistance. Through irony, managerial discourses and policies are destabilized, giving voice to an alternative reality. The resistance towards the police's official discourses reinforces a gap between the management and officers in the ranks, strengthening in-group autonomy and norms among the rank and file, but also disrupting organizational control. Irony was restricted to, but also opened up for, 'safe spaces', suggesting that counter-hegemonic discourses among police employees are constrained by contextual factors such as their socio-political environment and organizational culture. Irony also helped to promote social harmony and sustain 'conflict- free venues and encounters', and the double nature of irony should be seen as a powerful resource for expressing criticism while avoiding sanctions. The article suggests that ironically expressed resistance towards institutional conditions is enabled and created by the very same conditions.

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