STORIES OF THE STORYTELLING ORGANIZATION: A POSTMODERN ANALYSIS OF DISNEY AS "TAMARA-LAND"
DAVID M. BOJE Loyola Marymount University
My purpose is to theorize Walt Disney enterprises as a storytelling organization in which an active-reactive interplay of premodern, modern, and postmodern discourses occurs. A postmodern analysis of these multiple discourses reveals the marginalized voices and excluded stories of a darker side of the Disney legend. Tamara, a play that is also a discursive metaphor, is used to demonstrate a plurivocal (multiple story interpretation) theory of competing organizational discourses. Subsequent sections address storytelling organizational theory, analyses of official accounts of Disney enterprises, and less well known, even contrary, accounts. The article concludes with implications for postmodern theory and future storytelling research projects.
Who is better known, Jesus Christ or Mickey Mouse? Walt Disney enterprises is a storytelling organization par excellence. The happy stories organization members tell about themselves are as artfully constructed and as carefully edited as their legendary characters. But just as tbe question of tbe Wicked Witcb in tbe film Sleeping Beauty ("Mirror, mirror on tbe wall wbo is tbe fairest of tbem all?") bas more than one answer, tbere are contrary stories about Walt Disney and tbe so-called Magic Kingdom tbat do not fit tbe universal tale of bappiness. My purpose was to form a tbeory about tbis storytelling organization, use postmodern analyses to resituate tbe excluded stories and voices, and tben analyze tbeir relationsbip to tbe dominant legend of an official, bappy, and profitable Disney studios. Tbis researcb goes bebind tbe artful and managed bappy constructions of tbe Disney storytelling enterprise to reveal a darker side: a
I would like to thank Grace Ann Rosile, Joseph Birthwhistle, Vikram Chona, Philip... [continues]
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