Report: Deauthentication Survey Results

This content has been republished at Renewals, a site focused on discussions about low morale in North American libraries] 

Earlier this year, I penned a post focusing on nascent data in my PoC Low Morale study. The data seemed to indicate another phenomenon I call deauthentication, and I crafted a working definition: 

“deauthentication is a cognitive process that People of Color (PoC) traverse to prepare for or navigate predominantly White workplace environments, resulting in decisions that hide or reduce aspects of

  1. the influence of their ethnic, racial, or cultural identity,  and 
  2. the presentation of their natural personality, language, physical and mental self-images/representations, interests, relationships, values, traditions, and more,

to avoid macro- or microaggressions, shaming, incivility, punishment or retaliation, and which results in barriers to sharing their whole selves with their colleagues and/or clients.” (Kendrick, 2018)

At the end of the survey, I invited readers to participate in a short survey about their own deauthentication experiences. The survey remains open if you would like to participate; this post reflects results as press time (67 responses). 

  • 29% African-American; 23% Multi-racial; 21% Caucasian; 18% Asian
  • 82% female
  • 72% have engaged in deauthentication
  • 69% have reduced/avoided discussions about religion, politics, or social viewpoints
  • 65% have reduced/avoided discussions about personal or family relationships
  • 62% have reduced/avoided discussions about cultural or ethnic (formal or informal) traditions
  • 56% have reduced/avoided discussions about non-work related activities, hobbies, or interests
  • 53% have changed or (re)considered food choices (e.g., what you bring to work to eat or to a workplace social event for general consumption)
  • 52% have changed or reconsidered clothing presentation
  • 46% have (reconsidered) body movements or non-verbal behaviors

Last Friday I shared some results during my presentation hosted by North Carolina Library Association’s Racial and Ethnic Minority Concerns Roundtable (NCLA REMCo).  When made available, I will share the link to that presentation.

Periodically, I will share more updates or thoughts as more responses come in.  

UPDATE: You may view the presentation here.

Works Cited

Kendrick, K.D. (2018, Feb. 5). Considering: Deauthenticity in the workplace. Retrieved from: https://theinkonthepageblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/considering-deauthenticity-in-the-workplace/  

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