Struggles for recognition: The politics of racioethnic identity among Dutch national tax administrators
Summary Despite the growing importance of migration flows for the workforce of contemporary organizations, studies on racioethnic identity of migrant and non-migrant employees have contributed relatively little to the literature on identity in organizations. Based on fieldwork among the employees of the Dutch tax administration, this paper contributes to functional, interpretive and critical orientations on identity in organizations. To functional orientations, this study adds that racioethnic identity not necessarily triggers racioethnic categorization and group belongingness, but may also feed a quest for individuality. Such categorization processes are highly contextual, in this case driven by 'White' organizational practices and by migrants-hostile discourse in society. Contributing to interpretive orientations, this study shows that such practices and discourses impose much more solid and fixed identity categories than the fluid notions these orientations privilege. Finally, contributing to critical orientations, this study demonstrates the need for distinguishing between employees' identity aims and their power to secure recognition for these aims and between organizational and societal discourses that curb their power.
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Volume (Year): 25 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
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