Understanding the corporation through emotion and affect

Authors: Alison Braithwaite*, University of Waterloo
Topics: Economic Geography
Keywords: economic geography; emotion; affect; the corporation
Session Type: Virtual Paper
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Emotion and affect theory can help explain the unexplainable, offering economic geography an analytical tool to dive deeper into understanding the nuances of the economy and the corporation. While emotion and affect are already implicitly embedded in economic geography through terms like ‘tension’, ‘conflict’. These terms often function as stand-ins or placeholders for the unexplainable within an otherwise rational system, rather than integral aspects of how the corporation functions. This paper examines how emotion and affect have informed economic geography by first, examining how affect and emotion have been applied to thinking about the economy and the corporation. Next, evaluate how affect and emotion are already applied to some degree by economic geographers. Finally, I argue (building on the work of feminist economic geographers) that emotions and affect can offer conceptual depth and rigour to our thinking about the corporation and the economy more broadly, as they reveal how emotion is used as a strategy in the ‘efficient’ functioning of the corporation.

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