Margaret Chin: The Hidden Rules of Work for Second Generation Asian Americans
Where: Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Ave.
212-817-7000 Price: Free
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With a growing population of college-educated, second generation children of immigrants joining the labor force, it is necessary to examine how young professionals navigate the work world, and the extent to which race and ethnicity play a role in their career paths. However there is limited research on this issue, particularly about the privatized, corporate world where ethnic minorities and racial discourses are less visible, and the politics of promotion, attrition, hiring, and firing are less transparent. Forty Asian Americans working in finance in New York City were interviewed over the course of 12 months and observed at bars after work with colleagues and personal friends, to begin to understand the implications of race as it pertains to institutional politics in corporate America from the perspective of the employee. Preliminary examination of the data suggests gatekeeping practices in the corporate system are discrete and veiled by a corporate culture emphasizing success through meritocracy, which downplays the salience of race. Thus the nature of corporate culture and its relationship to racial inequality at the work place needs to be further examined.