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“I tell you don’t trust the French”: National stereotypes in workplace narratives

Handford, Michael ORCID: 2022. “I tell you don’t trust the French”: National stereotypes in workplace narratives. Narrative Inquiry 32 (1) , pp. 218-243. 10.1075/ni.20070.han

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National stereotypes are inherently evaluative, often negatively, and potentially prejudicial. While research has examined stereotypes from an organisational perspective, this is overwhelmingly in experimental settings involving students (Landy, 2008); in other words not in workplaces, and not involving employees doing their jobs. Through a corpus-assisted discourse analysis of 53 authentic business meetings, this study finds that among certain communities, national stereotypes are used in workplace narratives, and argues that such narratives constitute a contextual, situated social practice. The novel methodology pinpoints and categorises all stereotypes in business-meeting narratives, before discussing what role they play in indexing the identities of the stereotyped and the stereotyping. Finally, evaluation, ideology and power are critically engaged with to explain their use or non-use, thus making a theoretical contribution to studies of evaluation, workplace narratives, and stereotyping in discourse. While ethically problematic, and potentially detrimental to business success, their use may be motivated by local workplace goals.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
ISSN: 1387-6740
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 December 2020
Date of Acceptance: 8 December 2020
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 14:57

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