Charlotte Lloyd: Workplace Technologies of Difference and Anna Skarpelis: Going Native?


Friday, February 8, 2019, 12:00pm to 2:00pm


William James Hall, 33 Kirkland Street, Room 1550

Contemporary Studies of Race & Ethnicity (CSRE) Workshop presentation by Charlotte Lloyd, Graduate Student, Department of Sociology, Harvard University and Anna Skarpelis, Postdoctoral Fellow, Reischauer Institute, Harvard University.



Charlotte LloydWorkplace Technologies of Difference: Managing Indigeneity in Australian Organizations through "Reconciliation Action Plans

Inequality in the workplace has been a major area of concern for sociologists, which has been increasingly shared by managers and executives since the rise of diversity management in the 1990s. However, “diversity” is just one of many strategies used in workplaces to acknowledge--and regulate--the difference of members of disadvantaged and underrepresented groups. Approaches familiar to U.S. audiences include Affirmative Action, equal opportunity, and inclusion, all of which rely upon different tools, policies and programs ranging from maternity leave to mentoring programs. This article proposes the concept of workplace “technologies of difference” as a useful analytical construct, an umbrella term, for examining, comparing and reimagining these diverse means by which organizations invoke and address social differences. I will then very briefly present the case of Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs) in Australia, which have standardized the management of Indigeneity in more than 1,000 corporate, government and non-profit organizations since 2006. This extended example demonstrates how the concept of technologies of difference is useful for analysis of the case itself as well as opening up new and important pathways for comparison.

Anna Skapelis, Going Native? Citizenship, Race and the Pesky Question of Indigeneity

White nationalists maintain that the US was founded on white supremacy; and they are right. This paper channels Margaret Atwood and indulges in some dystopian reflections on what is at stake when Donald Trump calls for the abolition of birthright citizenship. The paper does not interrogate the constitutional mooring of the 14th amendment or ask how easy or difficult it would be to do away with the amendment guaranteeing birthright citizenship; rather, it reflects on what a departure from birthright citizenship could mean, and specifically what the future could look like seeing that this departure was motivated by racial nativism. In order to do so, I draw on the German development of jus sanguinis (citizenship by descent) as a relevant reference point to what is happening in the US today. We often think of citizenship as a comparatively stable attribute, one that most individuals are unlikely to change over their lifetime, and citizenship changes as mostly singular and voluntary events. 19th and 20th century Germany on the other hand saw many citizenship changes for those who saw the border move across them throughout the many territorial re-orderings of German borders that period entailed. I suggest not only that the jus soli / jus sanguinis binary is an inaccurate distinction to describe the development of German citizenship legislation, but also that it is an incomplete one that ignores and blurs significant fault lines shaping expulsion and naturalization. Ethnicity and descent did play a role in German citizenship allocation, but more important and historically overlooked has been the question of how geopolitical and foreign policy considerations as well as territory played into ideas of German citizenship. I show that territory and residence have been significant criteria prior to NS rule in shaping naturalization decisions, and that eligibility criteria for naturalization had little to do with ‘race;’ even under NS rule, on-the-ground practice veered away from the racial nativist citizenship legislation encapsulated in the Nuremberg Laws.