Engaging with G W Mead to problematize potentially dominant effects of artificial intelligence (AI) on subjectivities

  • Wed 24 May 23

    11:00 - 12:00

  • Online

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  • Event speaker

    Dr Guy Huber (Oxford Brookes University Business School) and Professor David Knights (Lancaster University)

  • 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 seeks to develop Mead’s (1934) embryonic theory of identity through a critical examination of a very postmodern phenomenon – Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Seminar summary

Despite certain limitations in his analysis of self and society, we argue that the insights of Mead (1934) have been unduly neglected in the literature. We seek to develop his embryonic theory of identity through a critical examination of a very postmodern phenomenon - Artificial Intelligence (AI). Our argument is that through its tendency to reinforce prevailing identities, AI reproduces the status quo whereby social arrangements of power and inequality are further institutionalized. While there are many positive outcomes relating to AI, this negative impact on social relations is often ignored if not denied. We believe that Mead’s analysis of the self can be complemented by Foucault’s (1997) reflexive examination of the truth effects of power on identity to develop a critique of the hyperbole surrounding AI. We conclude by reflecting on the implications of our analysis for interrogating the governing power of AI through an agenda for critically orientated


How to attend this seminar

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

We welcome you to join this seminar online on Wednesday 24 May 2023 at 12pm


Speaker bios

Dr Guy Huber

Guy Huber is a Senior Lecturer at the Oxford Brookes University Business School. He received his doctorate from the University of Bath having completed a discursive ethnographic study on humour and laughter. His primary research interests centre on power, subjectivity and identity. He has published in international scholarly journals and his work has appeared in Academy of Management Learning & Education, Human Relations, International Journal of Management Reviews, Management Learning, Organization and Organization Studies.

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Professor David Knights

David Knights is Professor Emeritus, at Lancaster University where he was until November 2020 a Distinguished Professor. He was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Gender, Work and Organization from 1994 to 2016. His most recent book is Leadership, Gender and Ethics: Embodied Reason in Challenging Masculinities (New York and London: Routledge, 2021)

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