Community Action and Organizational Change: Image, Narrative, Identity

Community Action and Organizational Change: Image, Narrative, Identity

Community Action and Organizational Change: Image, Narrative, Identity

Community Action and Organizational Change: Image, Narrative, Identity

Synopsis

This account of an academic consultant's journey through banks, ghost towns, cemeteries, schools and political campaigns explores the tenuous relationships between cultural narratives and organisational change.

Excerpt

I know these are only words, but all the same … (I am moved as though these words were uttering a reality).

—R. Barthes, The Pleasure of the Text

“If it's taken a hundred years to get this far, what's another fortyfive minutes?” The summer sun has faded to a yellow and purple glow reflecting between the clouds and the Wasatch mountains encircling the valley. Rebecca and I are among a crowd of celebrants waiting outside the Utah state capitol buildings for centennial year fireworks. The show was to start at 8:00, but a rumor circulating through the crowd suggests that we are waiting for the governor to return from a social function. Standing shoulder to shoulder with native Utahns, people with names like Hatch, Heber, Kimball, and of course Young, we are interlopers. Unlike the ancestry celebrated tonight, we flew here a mere year and a half ago when I enrolled at the University of Utah for my graduate studies. While the Mormons' route was west, mine was southeast, from Vancouver, British Columbia, and Rebecca, whom I met in Vancouver, eventually found her way here after a research trip to London, England.

Our interloper status hasn't prevented us from experiencing and enjoying Utah's centennial celebrations. For the past ten months or so, we've been taking advantage of this centennial landmark to explore our temporary home and surrounding state. Tonight's fireworks are a prelude to tomorrow's weekend trip to a town fair and rodeo in central Utah. We've made it to three of these western festivals so far and have several more etched on the calendar. Despite . . .

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