IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Getting Lost in the Labyrinth: Information and Technology in the Marketplace


  • John Conway

    (Art Institute of Pittsburgh, USA)


The importance of the labyrinth as a trope in the Western tradition can hardly be overstated. Far from being a metaphor that describes just anything, it is a sign whose meaning appears in specific contexts. This article argues how the labyrinth’s triple function as visual, verbal and spatial sign—as well as its paradoxical function as unicursal and multicursal structure—makes it flexible enough to represent the paradoxical and complex nature of the modern workplace, the city, the mall and the individual subject’s position within an ever burgeoning network of relationships brought about by consumerism, capitalism, and commodification. Understanding the labyrinth trope helps people to understand the subject’s relationship to power and the very technology that we have created and in which we are trapped.

Suggested Citation

  • John Conway, 2011. "Getting Lost in the Labyrinth: Information and Technology in the Marketplace," International Journal of Social and Organizational Dynamics in IT (IJSODIT), IGI Global, vol. 1(3), pages 50-65, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:igg:jsodit:v:1:y:2011:i:3:p:50-65

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:igg:jsodit:v:1:y:2011:i:3:p:50-65. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journal Editor). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.