Hidden in Full View: The Organization of Public Secrecy in Miéville’s The City and the City

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    284 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    In this article, we explore China Mieville’s novel The City and the City as a literary experiment for analyzing the dynamics of public secrecy. We explore public secrets as an intrinsic part of organizational life and as a framework for paying attention to the politics of organizing. First, we focus on the novel’s invention and use of the verb ‘unseeing’ to bring out the embodied and sensuous aspects of public secrecy as part of organizational processes. Second we unfold how, although the content of public secrets may turn out to be less spectacular than expected, it is exactly their mundaneness which is key to their political importance. This is important because in an increasingly disorganized and uncertain world, secrecy proliferates and the visibility of secrecy is often a strategic move to justify certain hidden actions.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCulture and Organization
    Volume25
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)91-103
    Number of pages13
    ISSN1475-9551
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019

    Bibliographical note

    Epub ahead of print. Published online: 12. December 2018

    Keywords

    • Organizational secrets
    • Public secrecy
    • China Mieville
    • The City and the City
    • Fiction in organization studies
    • Embodied unseeing

    Cite this