1st Edition

Subversion, Power and Hierarchy in Organisations and Society Carnivalesque Leadership

By Jo Trevenna Copyright 2025
    164 Pages
    by Routledge

    Subversion, Power and Hierarchy in Organisations and Society: Carnivalesque Leadership explores a leadership strategy that dates back centuries but has become so normalised that it has become invisible as a strategy. Extrapolating Mikhail Bakhtin’s ideas on carnival and its potential for communal freedom and subversive challenge to existing hierarchies, this book identifies components of the carnivalesque, considers why and how they have impact and then maps the application of Carnivalesque Leadership to a series of case studies. Exploratory in nature, these diverse case studies focus on the historic evolution of carnivals in Trinidad and Notting Hill, the safety-valve mechanisms ubiquitous in the education sector, the standardisation of control and release within the corporate sector and the dynamic tension between protest, challenge and fun in Pride events. Readers will benefit from an increased awareness of a strategised Carnivalesque Leadership model and a greater understanding of the potential not only for the safety-valve release of pressure in society and in organisations but also the potential for longer-term change through exposure to alternatives to the official norm. 


    Chapter One – Bakhtin's Carnivalesque

    Chapter Two – How and Why is Carnivalesque Leadership Effective?

    Chapter Three – Carnivals and Carnivalesque Leadership

    Chapter Four – Play, Joy, Freedom, Compliance – Carnivalesque Leadership in Education

    Chapter Five – Corporate Carnivalesque

    Chapter Six – Pride: From Riot to Carnival



    Jo Trevenna completed her PhD in 2001 and has returned to academic research following a twenty-year career in educational leadership. In addition to pursuing her interest in Carnivalesque Leadership, Jo’s research interests focus on DEI in the corporate and education sectors and pastoral provision in schools.