Queer Matters: Reflections on the Critical Potential of Affective Organizing

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Queer scholars and activists share a central predicament with critical management studies: how to avoid the dangers of self-defeat. That is, how can one make a critical difference without becoming embroiled with or turning into the powers that be? This chapter offers suggestions for how to remain critical and queer by first introducing the notion of queer posing then exploring its conditions of possibility in terms of performativity and affectivity, respectively.
Here, we encounter another seeming impasse between the epistemological voluntarism of which studies in the performative vein are sometimes accused and the charge of ontological determinism that is often levelled against affect theory. Turning from vain dichotomies to productive tensions, we propose that potential for critical performativity is inherent to affective organizing of materiality as events in relation to which action becomes possible. The concept of plasticity, we suggest, enables investigations of the simultaneously formed and formative character of being and, further, the explosive potential of critique – the shaping of corporeal events is not only confining, but also holds potential for blowing up existing configurations.
On this basis, we sketch three plastic relations of affectivity and performativity, three modes of organizing material assemblages as actionable events: invitation, intervention, and celebration. We illustrate the performative power and critical potential of these three modes of affective organizing by indicating how they give form to, are formed by, and become explosive to Sabaah, a Danish activist network and community for LGBT people with minority ethnic background.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFeminists and Queer Theorists Debate the Future of Critical Management Studies
EditorsAlison Pullen, Nancy Harding, Mary Phillips
Number of pages24
Place of PublicationBingley
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)9781786354983
ISBN (Electronic)9781786354976, 9781787147300
Publication statusPublished - 2017
SeriesDialogues in Critical Management Studies


  • Queer
  • CMS
  • Plasticity
  • Minority ethnic
  • LGBT
  • Organizing

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