The procedure against professional assimilation

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Expectations of professionalism in a workplace can make it difficult for people to adapt and even force some to adopt tactics in order to adhere

Workplace culture, created and enforced by the employer and carried on by its employees, is not just the subject of pretense.

While forms of self-expression such as piercings, dyed hair, and tattoos have often been stigmatized in the workplace, these are not the only elements that contribute to workplace culture. When employees don’t have room to express themselves without judgment, without being seen as unprofessional, people are forced to assimilate.

In the event of nonconformity, a typical work environment would perceive a person’s preferred way of self-portrayal as an attention magnet, as if they were trying too hard, as if they weren’t serious about their job. In working-class professions, too, a requirement based on optics remains, especially where the employees have to address the customer visually and atmospherically.

Sophie Sanchez, a senior citizen studying anthropology and sustainability, said a friend of theirs was turned down to work at a Chick-Fil-A because of his looks.

“They said they wouldn’t even look at his application because he had long hair unless he cut it off, even though they want women in the workplace to have long hair,” Sanchez said. “It’s kind of arbitrary again, and sometimes it’s gender specific.”

Some have to employ a tactic known as. is known “Code exchange,” or adapting behavior and mannerisms to their audience for the purpose of assimilation in a particular group.

Sanchez recalled an experience where a colleague came up to her and a friend on the street. Sanchez instinctively straightened hers Collars, even the way they changed spoke, stood and gestured during the conversation.

“As soon as I left, my friend started to get annoyed for me for acting like a ‘conqueror’.

Code switching is a survival tactic for economic advancement, assimilation, and forging connections with people in the workplace, Sanchez said.

“You have to somehow fit into the shape that the corporate environment makes for you, even if it doesn’t feel comfortable or right,” said Sanchez. “We shouldn’t downplay our membership in a stigmatized group or avoid embodying the harmful stereotypes of that group just to be seen as competent and worthy.”

Meghan Muldoon, Assistant Professor at the School for Community Resources and Development, identified some of the fundamentals of Western standards of professionalism as justification for settler colonialism practices.

Settler colonialism refers to the perpetuation of genocide and oppression of indigenous peoples and cultures as defined by Alicia Carroll, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and English at the University of California, Irvine. Forms of oppression such as racism, white supremacy, heteropatriarchy and capitalism overlap in settler colonialism.

“American society and Canadian society are an ongoing settler-colonial state, and in that state colonialism is not an event of 1492 but continues,” Muldoon said. “In all of our day-to-day interactions, in our institutions, in our educational systems, it is embedded in the need to believe that we have a right to be here, that we belong here, that our history warrants our continued employment.” this country. “

In addition to the pressure to assimilate, buying work clothes creates additional problems for working people. Senna Tomizuka, who is a sophomore in political science, has worked several jobs in the restaurant business. Tomizuka said there is pressure on women to present themselves in a certain way in order to be perceived professionally.

These clothes usually come at a high price, even if they are bought second-hand.

Given all of these factors, Sanchez believes that for reasons other than security, the presentation to the police is serving no greater purpose.

“I think the exclusion of personal expression is supposed to be a balance so people can make performance-based decisions about who does a good job,” said Sanchez.

A year-long pandemic that forced people to adapt to virtual work has shown the need for a change in the status quo – one that will tone down the emergence of police officers based on repressive, arbitrary standards and work towards correcting systemic problems who routinely devalue the work of non-cis genders. Non-whites, non-men.


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