“Nationalisms and the Workplace”
Diversity management approaches often struggle in conceptualizing employees’ diverse origins and descents as a relevant dimension of diversity. Usually origin and descent are adumbrated under the ambiguous constructs of race or ethnicity, and the concept of racism is utilized to explain origin-based mechanisms of exclusion. In doing so scant attention is paid to employees’ nationality, a contingent construct massively loaded with stereotypes that influence everyday workplace-situations, especially for those employees who are not perceived as “domestic” in terms of their nationality in different national settings. Taking into account that the dimensions of ethnicity, race, nationality, and also religion are not clear-cut phenomena, and very often interact within individuals and workplace situations they are confronted with, this stream wants to put an emphasis on nationality and nationalisms.
An example for a growing significance of the category of nationality is the tendency of renationalization within the European Union, and the resurgence of national thinking and acting against the background of the current financial crises and the last rounds of enlargement of the EU (Köllen, 2012). After the enlargement in 2004 a large-scale emigration from Poland and the Baltic States to Great Britain and Ireland took place. Even before joining the EU in 2007 there was a second big European wave of emigration from Romania and Bulgaria to Italy and Spain. Heated by the economic crises and the rising rate of unemployment in the destination countries, an emergent resistance against the newly (and also previously) arrived migrants can be detected, that questions any kind of “inter-national” or supra-national solidarity. As an example the slogan “British jobs for British workers” at the Lindsey Oil Refinery strikes (Barnard, 2009; Castles & Vezzoli, 2009) illustrates the new importance of nationality. Other recent examples are an increasing number of Germans working in Switzerland and Austria who face different layers of stereotypic attributions and mechanisms of exclusion, or the increasing number of people from Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece migrating to the north and meeting the same stereotype-based mechanisms, that are related to their nationality. Generally emerging exclusive nationalistic working climates undermine the formal freedom of movement for workers within the EU. The tendencies of renationalization within Europe confront the widespread assumption that the national state is an increasingly obsolescent model in the “modern” or “postmodern” world. The dialectic approach that historically describes the process of nation-building as a process of becoming a cosmopolitan citizen by continuously drawing bigger units of unification, seems to stand in contrast to the actual situation (Etzioni, 2001). Also the concept that individuals increasingly share their individual solidarity with others based on personal relationships, instead of institutionalized communities (Appiah, 2006) like nation states, seems not to fit with the current European situation.
Looking beyond the situation in the European Union this stream aims to deepen the understanding of nationality as a relevant category in the workplace, and to gain more insight into the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion surrounding this category.
Suggested topics for the stream include, but are not limited to:
- Studies on specific nationalisms and nationality-based mechanisms of exclusion on specific national labor markets
- Theoretical works on conceptualizing, connecting, distinguishing, or questioning the phenomena “ethnicity”, “nationality”, and “race”
- Perspectives on or comparisons between different sectors of employment such as the education sector, the theatre, the research sector and the hospitality industry
- Case studies
- Philosophical approaches to nationality and nation-building in relation to workplace issues
- Intersectional perspectives on nationality and nationalisms
- Postmodern approaches to nationality and nationalisms
- Historical, legal and political perspectives on global migration, and related workplace and labor market issues
- Psychological perspectives on nationality and nationalisms
- Nationality-based discrimination in the workplace
- Reflections and reproductions of and responses to nationality-based stereotyping in popular entertainment media
The deadline to submit an abstract (300-500 words) is February 1st, 2013.
Three forms of paper/abstract submissions are welcome:
- Developmental papers: These should be approximately 3000-5000 words, including references.
- Full papers: These are longer contributions less than 10 000 words including references. This form of submission is more suited for completed research projects, policy and practice interventions.
- Extended abstracts (300-500 words): Extended abstracts are accepted for the February 1 st deadline. However, acceptance will be subjected to submitting at least a developmental paper in time for the second round of reviews by May 1st .
Accepted papers might be considered for publication in “Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism” (SEN), a peer-reviewed journal published by Wiley Blackwell and under the Association for Studies of Ethnicity and Nationalism (ASEN) at the London School of Economics.
For further information, please see attachment below or contact Thomas Köllen, Gender and Diversity Management Group,Vienna University of Economics and Business (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).