How people and organizations create and manage excess

This book presents studies of ways in which people and organizations deal with the overflow of information, goods, or choices. The contributors explore two main themes. The first is the emergence of overflows: What is defined as overflow? Here the notion of framing as coined by Michel Callon has guided our approach. There is no overflow until some flow has been framed; framing means defining, and defining means imposing borders. Who does it, how, and why? The answer to these questions necessitates an historical and comparative approach. What one culture defines as necessity, another may see as excess, and these differences can exist even between different levels of the same social hierarchy. The second theme is the management of overflows, in the double meaning of the term: as controlling and as coping. Coping with overflow means learning to live with it; controlling overflow requires various skills and devices. The individual chapters show the management of overflow taking place in various social settings, periods, and political contexts: From the attempts of states to manage future consumption overflow in post-war Eastern European to the contemporary economies of sharing. Other contributions focus on overflow in healthcare administration, overflow problems in mass travel and migration, overflow in digital services, and the overflow that scholars face in dealing with an abundance of research information and publications. This edited volume belongs to the transdisciplinary social sciences, and therefore it should be of interest to sociologists, management scholars, economists, historians, anthropologists, and cultural studies scholars.

Controversies regarding epistemic wagers in climate-economy models

6 Overflowing with uncertainty: controversies regarding epistemic wagers in climate-economy models Jonathan Metzger But it seems that we have, without knowing it, made an immensely dangerous bet: namely, that we’ll be able to use the power and knowledge we have gained in the past couple of centuries to cope with the climate risks we’ve unleashed over the same period. Will we win that bet? Time will tell. Unfortunately, if the bet goes bad, we won’t get another chance to play. (Krugman, 2013) This chapter relates questions of overflow to epistemic politics – the

in Overwhelmed by overflows?

8 Guides and an overflow of choices Lars Norén and Agneta Ranerup In The metropolis and mental life, Simmel (1903/1950) argued that the division of labor and specialization in growing urban agglomerations increase the opportunities of choice for ordinary citizens. For Simmel, improved choice opportunities were an interesting and positive aspect of urban life, but this favorable attitude toward choice came to be questioned in time. One contributor to this critique was US psychologist Barry Schwartz (2004), who summarized the debate by introducing the notion of

in Overwhelmed by overflows?
Open Access (free)

Introduction Orvar Löfgren and Barbara Czarniawska Our times are witnessing intense debates about overflows. Our lives, at home and at work, allegedly create the necessity of living with too much: too many objects, choices, options, activities, and emotions, as well as too much information. Bestseller titles abound, such as Affluenza: When too much is never enough (Hamilton and Denniss, 2005), Distracted: Erosion of attention and the coming dark age (Jackson, 2008), and Overwhelmed: Work, love and play when no one has the time (Schulte, 2014), accompanied by

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Managing overflow in science publishing

7 More means less: managing overflow in science publishing Sabina Siebert, Robert Insall, and Laura M. Machesky Overflow (also referred to as surplus, excess, or overspill) is the opposite of scarcity. Yet as Czarniawska and Löfgren (2012) noted, overflow can be construed as either positive (more means better) or negative (too much of a good thing). But no matter how it is defined and whose perspective one considers, they contend, overflow must be managed. Earlier studies revealed a variety of practical definitions of overflow and a variety of managing devices

in Overwhelmed by overflows?
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A surplus of ideas

Afterword: a surplus of ideas Richard Wilk When do we cross the border between enough and too much? When does a comfortable abundance become an oppressive surfeit? When does choice move from being a privilege to a burden? This book finishes up a series of three by the same editors which address these questions and more, exploring many aspects of excess, over-abundance, and overflow. These extremes might be the best way to characterize our world, populated by an almost unimaginable 8 billion people, hundreds of millions migrating and seeking refuge, where the

in Overwhelmed by overflows?

9 Virtual red tape, or digital v. paper bureaucracy Barbara Czarniawska Our everyday Camusian-existential struggle […] is played ‘as if’ it were unfolding within a labyrinth-like bureaucracy, as we wrestle with the increasing complexity of contemporary life, with its spider’s web of rules and regulations, some often contradicting the others. (Warner, 2007: 1028) Framing technology has changed: what about overflows? Before I move to the main topic of my chapter, ‘virtual red tape’ as a new way of framing bureaucratic overflows, a few words about bureaucracy. Max

in Overwhelmed by overflows?

between European and US offices, demonstrating that the history of the office is complex and that discrepancies can be traced through local histories, as the same concepts were employed differently in various contexts. One can identify dominating trends, however. Over the past 100-plus years, various types of overflows have had to be dealt with, but some problems seem to persist. At the end of the nineteenth century, the expansion of office work occurred so quickly and engaged so many new workers that there was no time to develop new ways of organizing space (Saval

in Overwhelmed by overflows?
Handling urban overflows

3 Moving in a sea of strangers: handling urban overflows Orvar Löfgren Overflow at the border I approach the improvised identity check at Malmö’s Central Station, in the southernmost part of Sweden. It was established in the fall of 2015 to control the rapidly growing number of refugees. Coming from Copenhagen airport, wheeling my neat carry-on bag, I am waved through quickly, the policeman barely glancing at the identity card I am holding like a talisman, while the migrants behind me, dragging all sorts of luggage, from battered suitcases and backpacks to

in Overwhelmed by overflows?
Framing excess in a Swedish newspaper group

success – the most successfully expanded local media group in the country – to a position of near-bankruptcy. It is a story of hope turned to despair, the story of a media organization presented as exemplary in international industry conferences to a story of destructive overflow. It is the media-industry fair [here in Gothenburg], the meeting-point of a sector moving against the wind. It is a difficult time for everybody; Google and Facebook take advertising money, the mobile and social media take readers. And Peter Hjörne’s Stampen has done worst of all, with the

in Overwhelmed by overflows?