The hysteresis effect as creative adaptation of the habitus: dissent and transition to the 'corporate' in post-Soviet Ukraine (2009)

Author(s): Kerr R, Robinson S

    Abstract: How might Bourdieu’s concept of the hysteresis effect be operationalized in order to understand dissent from, and compliance with, domination in a specific period of social and organizational transition? We employ the Bourdieusian concepts, in particular ‘forms of capital’, ‘hysteresis effect’ and ‘habitus’ to examine the production and reproduction of domination within a British international organization (the ‘Corporation’) operating in transitional post-Soviet Ukraine. Our argument is that the communist-era dissident habitus was better adapted to the changed socio-economic circumstances of postcommunism and was able to creatively adapt to the Corporation through identifying homological processes of domination and adopting homological dissident strategies. The hysteresis effect might therefore provide an explanation of how workers make sense of their new environment based on their habitus, on their capacity to decipher homologies between the previous context and the new one, and on how the dominated that dissent reuse or adapt their strategies in and to this new context. This article makes contributions to the study of domination in organizational contexts at three levels. At the theoretical level, through organizational-based empirical work we build on and develop Bourdieu’s concept of the hysteresis effect by demonstrating the role of the hysteresis effect in the creative reproduction of dissent as a habitus. Our substantive contribution adds a new perspective to the literature on ‘transition’, providing a fine-grained study of how domination was produced within the Western organization in post-Soviet Ukraine.

      • Date: 01-11-2009
      • Journal: Organization
      • Volume: 16
      • Issue: 6
      • Pages: 829-853
      • Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
      • Publication type: Article
      • Bibliographic status: Published

      Keywords: dissent, domination, field, habitus, hysteresis effect, transition