Power and Resistance: Navigating Boundaries of Talk and Silence in the Part-Time Workplace
MetadataShow full item record
This project explores power dynamics in the part-time workplace and their relation to the creation of boundaries of acceptability of talk, especially about workplace concerns. After a review of literature on ignorance, apathy, power and resistance, I discuss how through 10 semi-structured interviews, I found that workers were encouraged or forced to cultivate apathy of workplace issues in themselves. I discuss the nature of power and structure in the workplace and deploy a conceptual framework I call ‘packaging’ to create a graspable form of a conception of how workers situate themselves in the workplace social structure. I found that workers avoided direct challenges of management in order to avoid expected repercussions and often coped in various ways by creating back regions of talk. The transitory and low-wage nature of part-time work also encouraged disengagement. I further enter a discussion of the greater implications of my findings and silencing environments and offer suggestions for future research and advice for workers.