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Mindfulness: A cultural analysis of the translation and traveling of an esoteric concept from the East to the organizational realm in the West, specifically in Bogotá, Colombia.

Usme Manrique, Natalia (2016) TKAM02 20161
Division of Ethnology
Abstract
This thesis analyzes how mindfulness is translated into a business concept for the organizational realm in Bogotá, Colombia. How does an originally “mystic”, eastern esoteric concept like mindfulness manage to travel into and adapt to a material Western setting, specifically Bogotá? Previous research on mindfulness in businesses often analyzes it as an accepted tool for executives and organizations, but little research has focused on how mindfulness has actually ended up there, having been tailored by mindfulness companies to meet organizational interests. This thesis explores the identity-making process of seven mindfulness companies and their owners using cultural analysis and ethnographical methods. In focus are the tacit and explicit... (More)
This thesis analyzes how mindfulness is translated into a business concept for the organizational realm in Bogotá, Colombia. How does an originally “mystic”, eastern esoteric concept like mindfulness manage to travel into and adapt to a material Western setting, specifically Bogotá? Previous research on mindfulness in businesses often analyzes it as an accepted tool for executives and organizations, but little research has focused on how mindfulness has actually ended up there, having been tailored by mindfulness companies to meet organizational interests. This thesis explores the identity-making process of seven mindfulness companies and their owners using cultural analysis and ethnographical methods. In focus are the tacit and explicit rules engaged in creating these mindfulness companies, their marketing strategies, their gender notions and the meanings they ascribe to the mindfulness experience. Similarly, the voice of Bogotá’s organizational realm is examined in order to comprehend their take and appreciations on mindfulness. The analysis is guided by Mary Douglas definition on cleanliness and pollution, Erving Goffman’s theatrical perspective on social interactions, Victor Turner’s delineation of liminality and Judith Butler definition of gender. The investigation indicates that shaping mindfulness for business purposes is a personal and intimate process for the mindfulness practitioners operating as business owners. Further, the work reveals that, due to the gender stereotypes embedded in Bogotá’s organizational realm, the mindfulness companies translate and market mindfulness as a prestigious enactment of womanness. The thesis findings can be used as a guide as they show how the successful travelling process and translation of mindfulness into a business concept for the organizational realm requires being aware of the specific local and geographic constructions of mindfulness including their national, gendered and sociocultural characteristics. Further, it reveals the significance of the individual perspectives on business and mindfulness that the women running the mindfulness companies adhere to. (Less)
Abstract (Spanish)
Esta tesis analiza cómo el concepto de Mindfulness se traduce en una idea de negocios y se moldea para el ámbito organizacional en Bogotá, Colombia. La pregunta surge ¿Cómo un concepto que inicialmente se considera “esotérico” y del Oriente viaja y se adapta a un entorno Occidental en Bogotá? A menudo, las investigaciones que discuten la existencia y el uso de Mindfulness dentro del ámbito organizacional se orientan en presentar este concepto como una herramienta que ya ha sido aceptada dentro de la organización y que está al alcance de ejecutivos y colaboradores. Sin embargo, la academia no ha examinado la manera en que Mindfulness llega a las organizaciones y es adaptada por las compañías de Mindfulness para cumplir con las necesidades e... (More)
Esta tesis analiza cómo el concepto de Mindfulness se traduce en una idea de negocios y se moldea para el ámbito organizacional en Bogotá, Colombia. La pregunta surge ¿Cómo un concepto que inicialmente se considera “esotérico” y del Oriente viaja y se adapta a un entorno Occidental en Bogotá? A menudo, las investigaciones que discuten la existencia y el uso de Mindfulness dentro del ámbito organizacional se orientan en presentar este concepto como una herramienta que ya ha sido aceptada dentro de la organización y que está al alcance de ejecutivos y colaboradores. Sin embargo, la academia no ha examinado la manera en que Mindfulness llega a las organizaciones y es adaptada por las compañías de Mindfulness para cumplir con las necesidades e intereses de los ejecutivos. Esta tesis se soporta en un análisis cultural y métodos etnográficos para explorar el proceso de generación de identidad de siete empresas de Mindfulness y sus propietarias. La tesis se enfoca en las reglas tácitas y explícitas que involucran la creación de una empresa de Mindfulness, sus estrategias de marketing, nociones de género y los significados que se le atribuyen a lo que aquí se denomina como la experiencia de Mindfulness. Del mismo modo, la tesis analiza las voces del ámbito organizacional de Bogotá, con el fin de comprender sus apreciaciones respecto a Mindfulness. El análisis toma como guía la definición de limpieza y contaminación de la antropóloga Mary Douglas, la perspectiva teatral del sociólogo Erving Goffman, el concepto de liminalidad del antropólogo Víctor Turner y la definición de género de la filósofa y feminista Judith Butler. La investigación indica que la generación de Mindfulness con fines comerciales es un proceso personal e íntimo para las profesionales que se dedican a esto y que operan como dueñas del negocio. Además, el trabajo revela que, debido a los estereotipos de género presentes en el ámbito organizacional de Bogotá, Mindfulness se traduce y publicita localmente como un prestigioso acto de femineidad. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Usme Manrique, Natalia
supervisor
organization
course
TKAM02 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
mindfulness, gender stereotypes, performances, liminality, business, cultural translation, New Age commercialization, Bogotá, Colombia, estereotipos de género, representaciones sociales, liminalidad, negocios, traducción cultural, economía de la Nueva Era, MACA
language
English
id
8959695
date added to LUP
2018-10-01 14:22:15
date last changed
2018-10-01 14:22:15
@misc{8959695,
  abstract     = {This thesis analyzes how mindfulness is translated into a business concept for the organizational realm in Bogotá, Colombia. How does an originally “mystic”, eastern esoteric concept like mindfulness manage to travel into and adapt to a material Western setting, specifically Bogotá? Previous research on mindfulness in businesses often analyzes it as an accepted tool for executives and organizations, but little research has focused on how mindfulness has actually ended up there, having been tailored by mindfulness companies to meet organizational interests. This thesis explores the identity-making process of seven mindfulness companies and their owners using cultural analysis and ethnographical methods. In focus are the tacit and explicit rules engaged in creating these mindfulness companies, their marketing strategies, their gender notions and the meanings they ascribe to the mindfulness experience. Similarly, the voice of Bogotá’s organizational realm is examined in order to comprehend their take and appreciations on mindfulness. The analysis is guided by Mary Douglas definition on cleanliness and pollution, Erving Goffman’s theatrical perspective on social interactions, Victor Turner’s delineation of liminality and Judith Butler definition of gender. The investigation indicates that shaping mindfulness for business purposes is a personal and intimate process for the mindfulness practitioners operating as business owners. Further, the work reveals that, due to the gender stereotypes embedded in Bogotá’s organizational realm, the mindfulness companies translate and market mindfulness as a prestigious enactment of womanness. The thesis findings can be used as a guide as they show how the successful travelling process and translation of mindfulness into a business concept for the organizational realm requires being aware of the specific local and geographic constructions of mindfulness including their national, gendered and sociocultural characteristics. Further, it reveals the significance of the individual perspectives on business and mindfulness that the women running the mindfulness companies adhere to.},
  author       = {Usme Manrique, Natalia},
  keyword      = {mindfulness,gender stereotypes,performances,liminality,business,cultural translation,New Age commercialization,Bogotá,Colombia,estereotipos de género,representaciones sociales,liminalidad,negocios,traducción cultural,economía de la Nueva Era,MACA},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Mindfulness: A cultural analysis of the translation and traveling of an esoteric concept from the East to the organizational realm in the West, specifically in Bogotá, Colombia.},
  year         = {2016},
}