Business and the Culture of the Enterprise Society

Business and the Culture of the Enterprise Society

Business and the Culture of the Enterprise Society

Business and the Culture of the Enterprise Society

Synopsis

This book highlights the influence of business on culture and traces the increasingly dominant role that business plays in shaping social and cultural experience. It argues that in the contemporary world, the dividing line between commerce and culture is becoming increasingly blurred and that business practices and values now dominate the material, intellectual and spiritual life of the community. This general thesis is illustrated with material from economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, art, biography, literature, film, theater, television, technology, and computer science--- material drawn together by the common thread of business.

Excerpt

This book is about "seeing" aspects of our everyday world that are frequently taken for granted yet have a major impact on our lives. It is about books, newspapers, advertisements, television, computers, clothes, travel, and sport. Such things reflect and shape the values of our societies and are intrinsic elements of our culture. In Western societies they are largely the products of business activity. What we read, wear, view on film and television, how we travel from place to place, the nature of the games we play and watch, are the consequences of a myriad of business decisions. Indeed, so integral is business activity to our way of life that we can play with, and explore, the idea that our culture is a "business culture." In such a culture business practices and values dominate the material, intellectual and spiritual life of the whole community.

The role of business practices and business institutions in mediating our encounters with the everyday world may seem self-evident. Yet the idea of a business culture remains relatively unexplored. When, for example, the English scientist-novelist C. P. Snow delivered his 1959 lecture The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution, he raised a storm of controversy in the bitchy world of British academic politics. Snow described a deep divide between the world of science and technology and the world of literature. At one pole were the scientists and technologists; at the other, the writers and literary intellectuals. The divide between them stemmed from the lack of a shared language of communication, a shared education and a shared set of values. Notwithstanding the virulent and, in some cases, very personal criticism of Snow and his thesis, the idea of two cultures--a culture of science and technology on the one hand and a literary culture on the other--became . . .

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