Is it still gossip when it's true

The gossip, the women, and the talking at work

"I reconstructed the word history of gossip and found out that the origin of the German word of gossip is the washing place and in modern times it was considered the news exchange where you could get information about village life and what was going on in the World happened. In the literature there is also evidence that the men were really jealous of it. The washing place was a place from which men were completely excluded ... It was really a place that a man could only walk a few meters On the other hand, everything was then registered so that you can really find out what's the latest. "

Perhaps not necessarily as an alternative, but in dealing with the gossip of women at the washplaces and washhouses in the 17th and 18th centuries, men also created places where they could gossip unhindered:

"One finds in the literature about the first coffee houses in England that the men actually designed their coffee houses as places where they met to get information like a washing place or a birth public, thus based on the female model. And then they tried right from the start to make it as serious as possible and in response to this desire, which is evident in the washroom when women clap at work, they tried to mask from the start in order to make information more serious . "

On the subject of gossip, Birgit Althans develops central dimensions of the gender struggle. It is clear to them that both sexes clap, often without realizing it. Women are more likely to admit their gossip behavior - so the author believes - while men have learned mechanisms to steer this in an orderly way. The pleasure of speaking, telling and gossiping is often lost. With this question in mind, the author eagerly follows the different discourses of the sexes - from speaking of women when working at the washing area, to coffee houses and the places of merchants and financial trading, to speaking at the workplaces of the Trying to get a grip on organizational psychology. The author pays particular attention to the attempts to discipline speech, which can be observed parallel to the tendencies towards affect control in the context of the process of civilization. Defoe, Diderot and Rousseau are their most important witnesses to the burden in a process in which the speaking of women and men is assessed more and more differently. Men had to pull themselves together - if they wanted to be successful in business - and not offer open spaces through gossip and endanger their own reputation. This is what distinguishes bourgeois men from laundresses.

"They didn't speak at work, but made their working public out of talking and talked about business. And there was the problem from the start that a man had to be seen as serious and reliable in order to be trusted to do financial transactions Coffee houses have also developed into institutions such as banks and insurance companies. And it was very important that there was no desire for gossip, but rather that one said, "No, that is very serious information, you can rely on it there you can invest. "

This is where the enlightenment discourse intervenes, in which the creditworthiness of the financial world goes hand in hand with the fear of the excessive desires and lusts of women. The tank that bourgeois men have imposed upon themselves since the Enlightenment serves both - seriousness and protection. Birgit Althans discovers this, for example, in Daniel Defoe's allegory of Lady Credit. Men's credit is threatened by the other, women's lust for gossip and sexuality:

"A credit specialist is Daniel Defoe ... and he said:" To break a businessman's credit is in principle tantamount to castration, it basically kills him, makes him helpless, impotent and unable to continue doing business . [45'45] It is also said again and again that the gossip actually works like this female gender, like the vagina dentata. The gossip attacks men's credit, snatches them up and sucks them out, bites them out of existence. "

With the description of these disciplining processes, the Berlin author goes far beyond a purely folkloric consideration of gossip. Your investigation not only illuminates aspects of the gender conflict in a very sensual and concrete way. It also leads to management and organizational theories via the credit discourse. Because just like Taylor, the inventor of the time cycle on the assembly line, many theorists were concerned with the consequences of speaking in the workplace:

"You then see the modern" employers ", that is, the farmers ... an effort to keep them happy and to serve the storytellers when they do this boring work of spinning, splicing goose quills - all things that are monotonous they made sure that they had entertainment and they were allowed to talk too. They were also happy to come because it was a very pleasurable atmosphere, really erotic. So it is almost logical that the work organization ... that's just it It's about efficiency, which has to be suspicious of them from the start, and that's the way it is with Taylor. Taylor comes across the chattering of the workers, which he doesn't like, during an attempt with ball-bearing sorters, which he uses like a schoolmaster ... apart, they were no longer allowed to speak and should speak during the break.

Many workers, especially female workers, are up against this. They insisted that the monotonous work in the factory and on the assembly line could be accompanied by speaking. The fight against speaking in the workplace is sustained even in the more flexible approaches to human relations. The rumble of the radio at work is just a tired copy of the pleasure of speaking at work:

"That was also important to me because I wrote the paper against an argument and newer management and organizational theory that says gossip is a pretty interesting thing, we really discovered gossip for the organization. They say it is an informal network, there is so much information circulating that it can be really productive. Since those discovered that it was something positive, it has of course been completely gender-neutral. "

Birgit Althans discovers a similar gender-specific blindness in the science that actually began to get people to speak: psychoanalysis, which, according to the author, has great similarities with gossip. But even Freud cannot accept this when analyzing his hysterical patients.

"Of course he has to deny that. At the beginning of the Dora analysis there are constant references that psychoanalysis has nothing at all to do with what is commonly called gossip and it is very different from that. But you notice it during the analysis all the time, he's struggling with it ... If you look at psychoanalysis there is a great structural similarity to gossip, because psychoanalysis and gossip are both interested in sexuality - repressed sexuality. "

Freud threatened to lose his credit, so to speak, if he had entered the gossip discourse. The author reveals these and similar connections to a very profane, everyday topic in a book that is enjoyable to read, but which in some places also expands with relish. A little less gossip might have done the book good and made it even more readable. But maybe then some dirty laundry would not have come to light.