Everyday inter-ethnic tensions and discomfort in a culturally diverse Australian workplace

Tran Nguyen, Selvaraj Velayutham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Australian workplaces are increasingly becoming culturally diverse. As a space of involuntary encounter of racial difference, multicultural workplaces are significant sites for understanding how workers deal with cultural difference. Involuntary cross-cultural encounters are a facet of living with cultural difference which can produce discomfort, tension and conflict in the workplace. The study of workplace social relations has traditionally focused on practices of racial discrimination. In this paper, we shift the focus to examine different modes of negative inter-ethnic interactions at work through the lens of discomfort. It suggests that analysing tension and conflict arising in multicultural workplaces as racially motivated or simply racist fails to capture other factors that adversely affect inter-ethnic interaction. This paper presents findings from a research into workplace interaction in the Australian employment services providers to emphasise that changing work conditions and increasing cultural diversity have profound impact on the workers’ experiences of workplace relations.

LanguageEnglish
Pages779-794
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Identities
Volume24
Issue number6
Early online date23 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2018

Fingerprint

workplace
cultural difference
interaction
employment service
worker
cultural diversity
Social Relations
racism
service provider
experience

Keywords

  • everyday racism
  • inter-ethnic relations
  • multiculturalism
  • workplace relations

Cite this

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Everyday inter-ethnic tensions and discomfort in a culturally diverse Australian workplace. / Nguyen, Tran; Velayutham, Selvaraj.

In: Social Identities, Vol. 24, No. 6, 02.11.2018, p. 779-794.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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