Outside the gates of eden: Utopia and work in rock music

Carl Rhodes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores how the relationship between work and utopia has been articulated in rock music. Rock is a cultural discourse that provides insight into the tension between representations of utopian imagination with the often hard realities of the experience of work. The article discusses the value of investigating popular culture in the context of the study of work and organizations and then examines how some samples of rock critically engage with the cultural idealization of work as utopia. Three images of work are delineated in rock music - work as a dystopia to be escaped, the troubled relationship between work and love utopias, and the idea of work as a false, yet culturally potent, utopia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-49
Number of pages28
JournalGroup and Organization Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • Critique
  • Cultural meaning of work
  • Rock music
  • Utopia/dystopia


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