Aesthetics of Perversion: We serve ethics in our fun events

The Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS) warmly invite you to join this week's guest speaker Dr Mostafa Fani from the University of Reading as he discusses perversion from a Lacanian psychoanalytic view.

  • Wed 10 Mar 21

    12:00 - 13:00

  • Online

    Join this Seminar

  • Event speaker

    Dr Mostafa Fani, University of Reading

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Centre for Work, Organisation and Society (CWOS) Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Sophie Hales

This seminar uses a Lacanian psychoanalytic lens to investigate a case study characterised by fun culture and social mission in order to show how aesthetics of fun leads to a perverse ethical position.

Seminar abstract

Perversion, from a (Lacanian) psychoanalytic view, is characterised by “disavowal”.

That is, the situation in which the subject ‘knows the facts but in a way which does not connect to his/her emotional experience’.

This presentation investigates a case study characterised by fun culture and social mission in order to show how aesthetics of fun leads to a perverse ethical position.

In the studied case, the social mission of giving back to the society by contributing to different charities, is absorbed into the fun culture (e.g., charity events are followed by dressing-up fun parties in the office).

The aesthetics of fun creates a “thick skin” that protects the employees against the ugly reality of social disorders and inequalities. This brings forth a perverse subjective position.

The employees know the facts (i.e., social disorders), but dressing-up parties protect them from emotionally experiencing the ugly reality of the Other.

The result is “ethics by proxy”: the institutionalisation of ethics where the company pays to charities and employees take an empty ethical gesture by merely attending fun events.

This generates a high commitment culture as employees feel proud of belonging to such a seemingly ethical act.

The presentation concludes by critically interrogating the role of aesthetics in creating a high commitment culture in a so-called “ethical” business.



This seminar is free to attend with no need to register in advance.

We warmly invite you to join in with your friends, colleagues and classmates.

Join this Seminar Online on Wednesday 10 March 2021 at 12pm


Speaker bio

 Mostafa Fani has recently finished his PhD and is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Organisation Studies at Henley Business School, University of Reading.

Mostafa's PhD research, entitled “Organisational aesthetics and subjectivity: A Lacanian discourse analysis”, explored the questions of aesthetics and subjectivity in new work practices from the Lacanian psychoanalytic perspective.

Drawing on Marx and Lacan, Mostafa’s research centres around how desire is becoming a productive element in late capitalist valorisation processes.

Mostafa's research interests include;

  • organisational critical studies
  • psychoanalytic (Lacanian) discourse analysis
  • post-structuralist theories
  • politics of subjectivity in neoliberal culture