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Title: Ethnic Minority Professionals’ Resistance: Workplace Struggles Over Discourses of Ethnicity
Authors: VAN LAER, Koen 
Janssens, Maddy
Issue Date: 2012
Source: International Seminar "Diversity and Inequality in Contemporary Organizations", Hasselt, Belgium, 11-12 September 2012
Abstract: This paper aims to understand how ethnic minority employees engage with discourses of ethnicity in the workplace. We draw on the notion of struggle, considering individuals’ workplace experiences to be characterized by a dialectical interplay between power and resistance. Based on interviews, we identify three types of struggles over discourses of ethnicity: struggles over the economic value of ethnic difference, over the social, cultural or religious values tied to ethnic difference, and over the nature of sameness. These findings contribute to the diversity literature by showing the ambiguous ways in which ethnic minority employees are constructed, which go beyond traditional group-based notions of difference; and by highlighting how struggles over discourses of ethnicity are always combinations of resistance and compliance. Moreover, the study contributes to the resistance literature by suggesting that workplace struggles take place at different levels, involving trade-offs between identity concerns,career opportunities, and emancipatory ambitions.
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Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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