Casing a Promised Land: The Autobiography of an Organizational Detective as Cultural Ethnographer

H. L. Goodall, Jr., Author Southern Illinois University Press $24.5 (200p) ISBN 978-0-8093-1512-3
Goodall believes that ``misfits''--employees who don't mesh with a corporation's work environment--may serve as useful scapegoats within the company. Visiting the U.S. Army's Star Wars Command headquarters in Huntsville, Ala., he ponders the dilemma of instilling a ``corporate culture'' among workers who have little or no faith in the doomsday technology they preside over. At a shopping mall he observes consumers' strenuous efforts at self-display. In other chapters he unriddles the social subtexts and symbols at a Boston-based computer software firm, NASA's ``Space Academy'' and a Salt Lake City academic conference. Despite useful insights, however, his deliberately colloquial narratives are windy, too often sketchy, and sprinkled with arch humor. Goodall chairs the communication arts department at the University of Alabama. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
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