Re-Imagining ‘Event Management’: on Governmentality and its ‘Afterlife’

BLACKSHAW, Tony and COETZEE, Willem (2020). Re-Imagining ‘Event Management’: on Governmentality and its ‘Afterlife’. International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure, 3 (4), 369-387.

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Abstract: In an important collection of publications Chris Rojek (2013a, 2013b and 2014) raises some apposite questions pertaining to ‘Event Management’ as a source of ideological power that surrounds both the staging of Mega Events and ‘Events’ as a subject field. The present article begins by elaborating on the key themes emerging from Rojek’s unconventional understanding of ‘Event Management’ which provides the backdrop against which it advances its own arguments. The rest of the discussion develops a novel framework of analysis which suggests that we should substitute ‘governmentality’ for ‘ideology’. It is argued that ‘performative governmentality’ achieves the rule of the ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘knowledge’ as the ruling force in a new way, through ‘efficiency’. The article provides a familiar theoretical framework and equips it with some new conceptual tools. Performative governmentality emerges as the ‘afterlife’ of Foucauldian governmentality, demonstrating that its capability is released only when the context in which it originally existed has disappeared, when it lingers precariously on the verge of disappearance. The article posits a mutual ‘fit’ between sport and the ‘social gradient’ in health and the tasks these pose to individuals under the dramaturgical conditions of the ‘performativity criterion’: to produce for themselves in their leisure the knowledge and the techniques of ‘fitness’ or ‘well-being’. Thereafter it explores how control operates with the societal shift from ‘hierarchy’ and ‘normalization’ to ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’, arguing that existential insecurity and ontological uncertainty – the products of the fear of invisibility – have become functional to performative governmentality, which appears capable of conjuring conformity through impulses we conventionally associate with empowerment.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Springer Nature via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for this article: **Journal IDs: pissn 2520-8683; eissn 2520-8691 **Article IDs: publisher-id: s41978-020-00066-z; manuscript: 66 **History: published 12-2020; published_online 21-08-2020; online 21-08-2020; registration 27-07-2020; accepted 26-07-2020; submitted 03-05-2020
Uncontrolled Keywords: Original Paper, Efficiency, Event management, Governmentality, Health and ‘fit-ness’, Neoliberalism, Performativity
Identification Number:
Page Range: 369-387
SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2020 17:18
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 20:47

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