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Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event
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Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  33 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews

In the summer of 2008, nearly fifty thousand people traveled to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to participate in the countercultural arts event Burning Man. Founded on a commitment to expression and community, the annual weeklong festival presents unique challenges to its organizers. Over four years Katherine K. Chen regularly participated in organizing efforts to safely and

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Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 2009)
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Jack
Jan 13, 2011 Jack rated it it was amazing
Shelves: social-science
This truly lovely bit of organizational sociology is about “the difficulties oft creating an enabling organization: how can members establish sufficient structure and coordination that support but do not constrain their activities?” (Page 153)

Much of this book is about how the Burning Man organization lives between two tensions: first, the tension between under-organization and over-organization; second, the tension between collectivist practices and bureaucratic organizing. (This book relies on
...more
dara
Apr 03, 2013 dara rated it it was ok
Shelves: ncsu, read-in-2013
Just not my cup of tea. Organizational sociology feels repetitive after so many classes about leadership and nonprofit organizations.
Amar Pai
Mar 10, 2017 Amar Pai rated it liked it
The sociology speak gets tedious but it is kind of interesting looking at how Burning Man works as an organization. And props to whoever reviewed this book who mentioned Burning Man: Just Add Couches. Definitely watch that movie if you are interested in Burning Man! It really captures the prankster and DIY ethos of the event and the inspiring weirdos who were out there in the beginning. Best movie I've seen on the subject.
Natalie Glazer
May 11, 2014 Natalie Glazer rated it really liked it
Katherine Chen’s book Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event is an inside look into how organizations can strike the balance between under organization and over organization. Chen focuses her study on the organizational changes the Burning Man organization makes as it grows from a small group to an annual event. Chen proceeds to outline how various organizational issues in the Burning Man group are solved by the placement of both bureaucratic and collectivist prac ...more
Bree
Feb 11, 2010 Bree rated it really liked it
The challenges that a festival such as Burning Man face are so interesting. The balancing act that the organizers face is truly unique and I was fascinated by their trials and tribulations.

It is also time to plan a trip to experience this event!
Heather
Oct 22, 2012 Heather added it
Shelves: amgt-602
Definitely want to re-read this one, when I'm not rushing through it for class!
Dirk
Dec 31, 2011 Dirk rated it it was amazing
great ethnography of Burning Man. Nicely linked to debates in organisational theory. A few more pictures would have been wonderful.
Tj
Tj rated it liked it
Feb 10, 2014
Katie
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May 08, 2015
Christy Parrish
Christy Parrish rated it it was amazing
May 13, 2012
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Oct 13, 2014
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Mel rated it it was amazing
Sep 22, 2016
Kallie
Kallie rated it it was ok
Nov 03, 2014
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Jan 20, 2013
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Sep 07, 2016
John
John rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2011
Allison
Allison rated it it was amazing
May 26, 2014
Colleen
Colleen rated it it was ok
Mar 09, 2014
Held K
Held K rated it it was ok
Jun 08, 2014
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Oct 24, 2013
Pat
Pat rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2011
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Apr 08, 2017
Amity
Apr 03, 2017 Amity rated it it was ok
I thought it was interesting enough, though maybe my two stars is a bit biased. I am not really into organizational theory and I think Chen may have let her biases influence her interpretation of her field work.
George
George rated it really liked it
Dec 22, 2013
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Nov 28, 2016
vicki knight
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Nov 07, 2014
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