Research seminar and ethnography workshop with Gary Alan Fine, FinWork Centre, June 11th

May 28, 2019

Financial Work Futures Research Centre Seminar & Workshop

“Dark Fun: The Cruelties of Hedonic Communities”

Professor Gary Alan Fine, Northwestern University

Tuesday 11th June 2019, 12:30PM – 1:30PM

Bush House (S) 3.01

Dear Colleague,

Please join us for the next FinWork Futures Research Seminar, by Professor Gary Fine from Northwestern University. Lunch will be provided.

Abstract: While fun is generally conceived as positive engagement and community building, we explore the linkage between fun and cruelty, suggesting that acts of violence and humiliation can be situated within hedonic experience. In this, we provide a meso-analysis of the occasions in which groups engage in activities that are widely judged to be disreputable and deviant, even if providing enjoyment and increasing group cohesion. By examining ethnographic observations of gang activity, bullying, hooliganism, political violence, and brutality in prison, we argue for the concept of “dark fun.” We focus on the role of collective effervescence, local group cultures, and moral ordering as contributing to dark fun. However, in considering fun and cruelty, we argue, following John Levi Martin, that the former is judged by first-person recognition and the latter through third-person analysis. The different perspectives of perpetrators and victims in the same situation suggest the challenge of interpreting a twined phenomenology, requiring different interpretive strategies for fun and cruelty.



Workshop – “How to Do Ethnographic Work in Organisations”

Tuesday 11th June, 3:00PM – 5:00PM

Bush House (S) 3.01

Professor Fine will also be running a workshop on the 11th of June, from 3:00 – 5:00pm in Bush House (S) 3.01. All are welcome to attend – this workshop should be of particular interest to PhD students who are going qualitative research.

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