Despite what’s said in a therapist’s office, an awful lot of how we feel in life is based on how we imagine ourselves being interpreted and categorized by others. Performance goes into making ourselves appear to be acting natural (Check out Mannville, AB’s famous sociologist Erving Goffman who even has his own statue!) Being well-adjusted, in short, is as much an act as it is a category of authentic being. To that end this job is about identity work: “the processes individuals engage in to manage their multiple and intersecting identities and to remediate identity threats (experiences perceived by individuals as potentially harmful to an identity)”.
Now, for the sake of argument we might take a devil’s advocate approach to illustrate identity work. For of us at AU who consider ourselves woke let’s not forget that many a straight white worker who would like to engage in jokes at work that elicit laughs at home finds herself compelled to tamp down her inner irreverence and simply nod in agreement with whatever politically correct views their bosses and colleagues hold. “Compelling people to feign ‘normalcy’, dissociate from some personal or professional identities, manage information disclosure, or create safe spaces in which they can associate with people who accept them” is the reason for this research; how does this identity work play out and how does it make us feel? If you’ve ever had to ironically check with the non-Indigenous folk in the room before whipping out old episodes of Brocket 99 you get that, like good writers, you have to know your audience before you can present a presentable version of yourself.
So, if you’re keen to address ways in which identity is about keeping up appearances rather than engaging in honest discourse toward egalitarian social structures, this is job for you. The research particularly involves studying the way cultural norms invoke a perpetual need to compete with (reframed as striving for success) and dominate (reframed as being ambitious) others. What tales does the evidence tell about the prevalence of competition-driven oppression in our culture? If researching various ways that people “play the game for survival” in life and labour appeals, then please send your attendant CV, cover letter, transcript and references to Dr. Angela Workman-Stark at firstname.lastname@example.org