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Bentley Provost Seminar Series Examines the Study and Representation of Culture, March 30

March 9, 2007

John Van Maanen, Erwin H. Schell Professor of Organization Studies, Behavioral and Policy Sciences Department at MIT Sloan School of Management, will discuss variations in ethnographic text work at the Provost Seminar Series on Friday, March 30, 2007, from 10:30 a.m.- noon in LaCava Center, Room 325ABC.

Van Maanen will discuss compositional and orientation shifts that have occurred in the area of ethnography - the study and representation of culture, based on fieldwork. Referring to ethnography as a storytelling institution with a good deal of scholarly legitimacy, Van Maanen will take an appreciative and critical look at textual style differences in fieldwork, place, pace, time and evidentiary approaches.

An expert in organization studies and occupation sociology, Van Maanen studies groups of people by living with them. Among the groups he has studied are Gloucester fishermen, Disneyland ride operators, U.S. patrol officers, and London detectives and their supervisors.

Cultural descriptions figure prominently into his writings about occupational conflicts, organizational careers, and work routines. His recent studies examine the social history of ethnographic understanding of work organizations and the various ways particular occupation identities take shape and change work settings.


BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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