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By Stanley A. Deetz
State University of New York Press, 1992, 410 pages

According to Stanley Deetz, the modern corporation has come to dominate practically every aspect of modern society, including the state, the educational system, the media, and the family. Our everyday lives have become increasingly "colonized" by a managerial ethos that is fundamentally at odds with our core democratic principles. While modern corporations offer opportunity and financial well-being, their unmediated, distorted growth has considerable ecological and human costs.

Deetz contends that while communication is the key to understanding corporations and power relations, the functionalist perspective that currently dominates communications studies has prevented scholars from developing effective theoretical models. Consequently, he turns to hermeneutics, critical theory, and the works of Foucault and other European thinkers, to reclaim "a deeper conception of political democracy through looking at the production of personal identity and joint decisions within the corporate context." The result, he suggests, is three-fold: it offers a conception of communication analysis appropriate for the politics of everyday life; it illustrates the impact of censorship and distorted communication on the discursive processes that take place within corporations; and it uses a conception of democracy based on participation and dialogue to critique modern corporate practices, and to suggest alternative ones.

Copyright 1993 by Scott London. All rights reserved.