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Business ideology and engineers as vanishing mediators

Öncü, Ahmet (2016) Business ideology and engineers as vanishing mediators. In: Hudson, Michael and Öncü, Ahmet, (eds.) Absentee Ownership and Its Discontents: Critical Essays on the Legacy of Thorstein Veblen. ISLET (Institute for the Study of Long-term Economic Trends), London and New York. ISBN 978-3-9814842-7-4

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Abstract

The paper has three main parts. The first part offers an account of Veblen’s problematique. The aim of this part is to emphasize that each major work of Veblen is a theoretical step taken further towards the solution of the problem already posed in The Theory of the Leisure Class: the continuity of the habit of invidious comparison that renders humans self-centric agents. The second part presents a reading of The Engineers and the Price System congruent with his problematique. On the basis of this particular interpretation of The Engineers and the Price System, the third part, for a conclusion, offers some reflections for questioning the legitimacy of business ideology from the technological point of view. He re, I argue that Veblen’s theory of “engineers” is grounded in his problematique; and that his depiction of engineers as potential revolutionary actors cannot be seen as an ephemeral desire of an “estranged” intellectual disgusted with business civilization. To substantiate the latter I argue that Veblen’s conceptualization of engineers is reminiscent of treating them as “vanishing mediators” between the old industrial order driven by profitability and “the incoming industrial order” driven by efficiency.

Item Type:Book Section / Chapter
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
ID Code:30731
Deposited By:Ahmet Öncü
Deposited On:07 Nov 2016 16:13
Last Modified:07 Nov 2016 16:13

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