The devil in high heels : drugs, symbolism and Kate Moss

Acevedo, Beatriz, Warren, Samantha and Wray-Bliss, Edward 2009, The devil in high heels : drugs, symbolism and Kate Moss, Culture and organization, vol. 15, no. 3-4, pp. 331-345.

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Title The devil in high heels : drugs, symbolism and Kate Moss
Author(s) Acevedo, Beatriz
Warren, Samantha
Wray-Bliss, Edward
Journal name Culture and organization
Volume number 15
Issue number 3-4
Start page 331
End page 345
Total pages 15
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Oxon, U. K.
Publication date 2009-09
ISSN 1475-9551
1477-2760
Keyword(s) drugs
sexuality
organisational symbolism
pharmakon
celebrity endorsement
Summary This paper contributes to critical voices on the issue of organisational responses to employee drug use. It does so by exploring symbolic readings of organisations’ relations with drugs and drug-taking. Our focus is recent coverage of, and organisational responses to, the UK tabloid media’s exposé of fashion supermodel Kate Moss’s alleged cocaine use. We consider that the celebrity endorsement in this particular case highlights the ambiguities created by the symbolic associations between the organisation and the ‘image’ projected by the celebrity. Overall, we use this case to explore symbolic relationships between drugs, sex, femininity and organisation. Through highlighting these connections, we question further the rationality of organisational responses to employee drug use and, utilising Derrida’s (1981) extension of Plato’s notion of the pharmakon, consider whether workforce drug testing might be fruitfully seen as a symbolic mechanism for scapegoating and sacrifice in order to protect the organisation’s (masculine) moral order.
Language eng
Field of Research 159999 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30041588

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Management and Marketing
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