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
- the influence of their ethnic, racial, or cultural identity, and
- 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.
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/