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AAA Annual Meeting Announcement (View all AAA Annual Meeting Announcements)
CFP: Inclusive Discussions: Incorporating Immigrant Perspectives into Organizational Research and Practice
Sponsor: Jennifer Long and Melissa Fellin, Western University
Contact Information
Jennifer P Long
Anthropologists have ‘been in business’ with for-profit and non-for-profit organizations for most of the twentieth century and the role of anthropologists as consultants for corporations, research firms, and local organizations has continued to grow since this time (Jordan 2013:21). In continuing their efforts to foster awareness of diversity during the development of policies and programs that affect the lives of their interlocutors, anthropologists work to represent the ‘voices’ of individuals and groups who are often marginalized from positions of power. In this way, anthropologists seek to play a central role in disturbing divisiveness and facilitating new models that involve the communities they work with, in order to bring about benefits to the research and the community (see Barone and Ritter 2010, Elie 2012, Lewellen 2012). As anthropologists, we have created a “call to arms” through participatory-action research, action anthropology, or community-based or community-engaged research. As noted by Schuller (2010), “It’s a matter of professional pride that anthropologists use our professional skills in the service of a here-and-now issue, group, [or] movement, or to solve a particular social problem.” Anthropologists have done well to enter non-academic settings, working for NGOs and for-profit companies in their attempt to fix or implement more inclusive solutions for “immigrant-related issues,” answering questions such as how can we attract more immigrants, how do we ready our workforce for increased diversity, and how do we serve increasingly diverse populations. Yet, in terms of implementation on the ground level – on the workshop floor, in the boardroom, or in community development projects – there remains an important struggle to increase diversity which presents an increasingly problematic situation for an ever increasingly diverse workforce and society in North America. In these negotiations among business priorities, work cultures, stakeholders, service providers and funding bodies, one often finds that there is a paucity of immigrants included in research, programs and policy developments due to their perceived challenges in the lingua franca, perceptions of immigrants’ difference, and the lack of recognition of their education and work experience. Often when immigrants are included in these processes they have a minimal role; remaining on the periphery, which leads to few organizational changes. George J. Sefa Dei (1996) argues that inclusion of multiple individuals and groups from multiple social locations is a powerful way to disrupt the unequal structures of power in society. Within this context, this panel seeks to discuss successful anthropological projects applied to non-academic settings that have brought immigrant voices to the decision-making table in a way that has influenced policy and practice on many levels. This includes papers that explore applied approaches, including socio-cultural analysis and community-based strategies to organizational research and practice. It also includes papers that examine the participation of immigrant employees and clients in decisions about their lives and in public discussions about their systematic inclusion into workplaces, city-wide projects, non-governmental programs, community events as well as immigrants’ everyday experiences with these processes of inclusion and exclusion within organizations. The questions explored in this panel include: How are social, political, structural and/or ideological processes of exclusion that maintain racism, imperialism and sexism produced and reproduced in organizations? What is the role of cultural competency training in organizations? What are anthropologists’ roles in helping organizations transgress against racial, class and gender boundaries? How can anthropological research methods and practices be applied to promote inclusion of immigrants at the organizational level? What are community-based strategies to organizational research and practice? What are the experiences of immigrants and refugees in their workplaces, non-governmental programs, and community events and programs? How can anthropologists engage their students in participatory-action learning and research? Please submit a 250 word abstract to Drs. Melissa Fellin, and Jennifer Long, by April 10th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.
Keywords: migration | diversity | workforce
Submission Deadline:
This announcement will be displayed until: 04/10/2013
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