This introductory chapter lays out the anthropological context underpinning this study and the materialist bent of its analysis. The focus here is to train anthropological attention on the everyday work that people perform as they struggle to deploy corporations as actors with particular components, relations, interests, and boundaries. Different corporate enactments involve descriptive and prescriptive dimensions, offering accounts of what is and what ought to be. The chapter argues that how we construct corporations as actors has crucial entailments for how we assign responsibilities to them, and vice versa. What appears as ontological flux, or changes in the nature of the corporation, is closely tied to fluctuating corporate responsibilities.
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