Although identity has become an excessive preoccupation of people in everyday life,
its centrality to critical management learning and education has sometimes been ignored. In
this essay, we explore the strengths and limitations but also the neglect of Mead’s analysis of
self and identity for developing a pedagogy that facilitates critical management learning.
Through a sociology of knowledge, we trace this neglect to earlier research where, with limited
exceptions, Marxian inspired critical research tended to eschew a concern with processes of
the self-formation of subjects. We argue that Mead’s ideas on reflexivity and indeterminacy
are central to learning to think differently, which is the benchmark for teaching from a critical
management perspective. Drawing on Foucault, we theorise identity work in the context of
power/knowledge relations in ways that help us to transform our pedagogy. Overall, we seek
to challenge not only our students but also ourselves in reflecting on identity work to facilitate
ways of thinking and feeling differently in teaching and learning.
Department of Business and Management
Year of publication: 2021Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-04-15