Old Skool Spinning and Syncing: Memory, Technologies, and Occupational Membership in a DJ Community

Hamid Foroughi, Micki Eisenman, Samantha Parsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We show how technology and its temporal instantiations act as material-relational mnemonic devices that provide temporal anchors for collective remembering in occupations and form the basis of what we call an 'occupational mnemonic community'. This is important because how the past is remembered shapes politics, the definition of membership and boundaries within occupations. Empirically, we focus on the occupation of DJing, an occupation that has witnessed major technological transformation. Utilizing interviews, archival research, and auto-ethnographic data, we show how DJs’ engagement with material mnemonic devices, here, DJing technology, aligns group members’ interpretations of the past, and forms the basis of an ‘occupational mnemonic community’. In our analysis, we uncover that imagined perceptions regarding how existing group members assess the material choices of newcomers, as well as, the performative behaviours exhibiting these choices, play pivotal roles in sustaining mnemonic communities. We conclude with a discussion on occupational mnemonic processes and their effect on establishing boundaries within occupations. Our findings contribute to a deeper understanding of the sociomaterial aspects of collective memory and its significance in understanding the politics of memory in work communities and organizations.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Management Studies
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • boundary
  • collective memory
  • materiality
  • mnemonic communities
  • occupations
  • organizational memory
  • relationality
  • technology

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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