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Historic Overview of Religion
- America is one of the most diverse countries in the world in terms of the religious affiliation of its people.
- In the beginning there were rich spiritual traditions of Native Americans.
- Spanish Catholics arrived as early as the 16th Century.
- Many Protestants came from Western Europe in search of religious freedom.
- Africans, brought here as slaves came with tribal and spiritual religious customs.
Historic Overview of Religion
- Immigration continued in the mid 19th Century with an influx of Roman Catholics from Ireland.
- In the 19th Century many Eastern Otrhodox from the Balkans, Roman Catholics from southern Europe, and Jews from Russia.
- Approximately three decades later, many Japanese began arriving in the West Coast with the religion of Buddhism and Shinto.
Diversity in Denominations
- The American religious landscape today is an incredible patchwork of: *Religious denominations *Splinter groups, broke off from other church *Cults
- Even among the long-established religious groups, rich diversity prevails.
Diversity in Denominations
- Protestants are divided into dozens of denominations: *Episcopalian, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist
- Catholics as well, are not monolithic, with liberal and conservative groups and various national churches: *Roman Catholic, Anglican Catholic, Eastern Catholic, Latin Catholic
- Jews are divided into the groups which often differ from one another in practice and belief: *Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed, Reconstructionist
Religious Diversity in the Workplace
- The trend toward increasing religious diversity continues, fueled by conversions as well as immigration.
- Since 1957, the Christian population in the U.S. has dropped 92% to 81% of all persons while practitioners of other religions, including Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims have increased from 1% to 6%.
Religious Diversity in the Workplace
- The workplace in America reflects this incredible religious diversity.
- Religious belief in the workplace, however, is like the proverbial iceberg--it is often mostly invisible to the observer.
- Religion is an aspect of people's lives that frequently remains private and unseen. For many people, it is not an easy topic to discuss, and there are many work environments in which mentioning one's religion is taboo.
Religious Geographic Influences
- There are vast variations in norms concerning religion in different geographical locations, Ex. Penn State.
- Rural South and regions of Midwestern states, Baptists and Methodists often predominate and may set a tone in the workplace far different from the metropolitan locations.
- With such incredible variety of practices and beliefs, managers must inevitably cope with an array of situations, predictable and unpredictable.
The Law and Facts About Religious Discrimination
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment.
- The Act of 1964 also requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee or prospective employee, unless to do so would create an undue hardship upon the employer: Flexible scheduling, voluntary substitutions or swaps, and job reassignments and lateral transfers are examples of accommodating an employee's religious beliefs.
- Employers cannot: Schedule examinations or other selection activities in conflict with a current or prospective employee's religious needs. Inquire about an applicants future availability at certain times, maintain a restrictive dress code, or refuse to allow observance of a Sabbath or religious holiday, unless the employer can prove that not doing so would cause and undue hardship
The Law and Facts About Religious Discrimination
- An employer can claim undue hardships when accommodating an employee's religious practices if allowing such practices requires more than ordinary administrative costs.
- Undue hardships also may be shown if changing a bona fide seniority system to accommodate one employee's religious practices denies another employee the job or shift preference guaranteed by the seniority system.
- An employee whose religious practices prohibit payment of union dues to a labor organization cannot be required to pay dues, but may pay an equal sum to a charitable organization.
- Mandatory "new age" training programs, designed to improve employee motivation, cooperation or productivity through meditation, yoga, biofeedback or other practices, may conflict with the non-discriminatory provisions of Title VII.
- Employers must accommodate any employee who gives notice that these programs are inconsistent with the employee's religious beliefs, whether or not the employer believes there is a religious basis for the employee's objection.
Scheduling as Religious Diversity Concern
- Workplaces in the U.S. today typically reflect the Christian calendar. Time off is usually allotted for Christmas, holidays for non-Christians are usually not officially noted.
- Many companies deal with these issues by granting only legally recognized federal and state holidays as company holidays.
- All others must be taken as vacation days thus minimizing the likelihood of unequal treatment on the manager's part.
- However, managers may inadvertently schedule important work events on holy days of Buddhist, Muslims, Jew or others. This is a commonly reported problem.
- Some managers wonder if it is wrong to schedule a strategic planning session on Yom Kippur.
- More frequently, managers are quite oblivious to the conflicts they may be creating for employees
Recommendations to the Scheduling Concern
- Since there is such an extensive array of religions, it is not practical for managers to try to learn about each religion and what is key holy days are. Even if they could do so, managers might not be aware of the religious affiliations of all members of their work group.
- Managers can, however raise the possibility of such conflicts with their work group in advance. Indicate their willingness to attempt to respond to different religious needs. Place some responsibility for being aware of any impending religious scheduling conflicts on the shoulders on their employees.
- Managers need to be flexible in granting time off for religious observances, but they need not be afraid.
Language as Religious Diversity Concern
- There are two types of offensive language related to religious beliefs: Intentional and Unintentional
- Both cause hurt and anger: Hurt is cause for disciplinary action. Anger is cause for education. If a manager fails to use one of these two tools, it indicates implicit acceptance and agreement.
- Some terms are blatantly offensive: Ex. When people in certain religious groups are referred to in stereotypical and negative ways. Anti-Semitic comments, as well as put downs of various other groups such as Mormons or born-again Christians are still heard in the workplace today.
Recommendations to the Language Concern
- Because it is disrespectful to all workers, whether or not they are member of particular group in question, offensive language must be confronted by managers each time it is encountered.
- This can be done privately, so as to not to embarrass the offender, or publicly, to make a statement to all those who are within earshot.
- More difficult to anticipate is the range of individual sensitivities related to religious beliefs. Ex. Swearing.
- Communication styles that offend, intentionally or accidentally, negate the concept of interpersonal connection, since people tune out when they are angry or hurt.
- Workplace language norms must be negotiated periodically in every work site and will shift depending on the comfort of the existing members of the work group.
Religious Practice as Workplace Diversity Concern
- As with scheduling, many of our workplace norms reflect a Western, Christian orientation.
- Some also reflect the norms of white males, this reflects how members of the executive suites are to adhere to rules of dress and behavior.
- Managers are not sure what kind of latitude is appropriate and what is too much. In the 1990s, there would be concerns about employees wearing chadors or turbans. Currently, hairstyles such as braids and dreadlocks can be problematic.
Most Common Religious Concerns in the Workplace
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discovered several areas of concern during its public hearings on religious discrimination in New York, Milwaukee and Los Angeles.
The most common dilemmas in the workplace cause by employees' religious practices are: A need for a prayer break during working hours. The practice of following certain dietary requirements. The practice of not working during a mourning period for a decreased relative. A prohibition against medical examinations.
Recommendations to the Religious Practice Concern
- Religion is a broad and difficult area of concern in the workplace.
- Sensitivity coupled with give and take may be required on all sides, it is important to sort out the key issues (such as those that affect workflow)
- There is no right or wrong answers to many of these dilemmas. There are approaches that are more likely to work than others. These dilemmas are calling for conversation and exploration with the focus on the work being negatively affected.
It is the social expression of social relations to and social reference to bodily desire or desires, real or imagined, by or for others oneself, together with the related bodily states and experiences
Concepts of Homosexuality: Homophile Movement
Arose to celebrate homosexuality and counter the systemized oppression of gays
Concepts of Homosexuality: Queer Movement
Emerged to challenge essentialist or universalist notions of gay identity as either gay, lesbian or bi-sexual
Representations of Queerness
- Group members contend that queers are different from mainstream and that they are celebrated not silenced.
- Most intentionally refer to themselves as queer to connote varieties and complexities of sexuality and reject "fitting in" or being "normal"
Sexual Orientation Defined: Essentialist
Contends that one's sexual orientation is a historical, natural and unchanging aspect of identity
Sexual Orientation Defined: Social Constructionist
Asserts that sexual identity is an artifact of society that depends upon socio-historical conditions
- While EEOC guidelines for managing sexual harassment prescribe a strong sexual harassment policy and aggressive remedial action following complaints
- Dougherty suggest a communication approach for a more complex understanding of sexual harassment as diffused throughout an organizational culture.
- The case study uses a sense making approach to explore the response of members of an academic department to an alumnus donor's serial sexual harassment of three of its members.
- Sense making proceeded through three phases: phase of discovery, debriefing phase, dispersal phase
Two Types of Sexual Harassment: Quid Pro Quo
- Incidents when the harasser has power/authority over the victim.
- Ex. Boss supervisor over an employer
Two Types of Sexual Harassment: Hostile Environment
- Sexually offensive conduct by co-workers that make the job difficult for the victim
- Ex. Slurs or jokes regarding sexual orientation
New Developments in the Workplace
- 1975, the Civil Service Commission reversed its policy against gays due to demonstrations all over the U.S.
- Many activists today are trying to extend equal treatment granted to minorities, women and the disabled to those who are not heterosexual.
American Companies with Nondiscrimination Policies
- Disney, AT&T, Xerox, 3M, Digital, DuPont & Proctor & Gamble are some companies with non-discrimination policies that protect homosexuals.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts provide health benefits to domestic partners of gays.
- Vermont is the first state to provide spousal benefits to gay and lesbian partners as well as to partners of unmarried heterosexual state employees.
The Gay Dilemma
- Two-thirds of gay employees hide their sexual orientation from co-workers
- Employment discrimination and harassment will only continue if the victims remain silent and companies remain ignorant of this minority group
- Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is only illegal in eleven states
Harassment in the Workplace
- Victims do not have recourse through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- EEOC's is to enforce the legal standards set by the Civil Rights Act, however, these legal standards do not yet provide protection for non-heterosexual workers
- Legal cases for gays and lesbian victims were considered sexual orientation discrimination which Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts does not prohibit.
The Relationship Among Reported Disclosure
- Most diversity programs do not explore sexual orientation: Lesbians, Gays, Bi-Sexual
- Increasing numbers of gay and lesbian organizational members
Disclosure on Sexual Orientation
- A starting trend in society is for more gay men and lesbians to make their sexual orientation known may indicate that an approach workplace tolerance is needed
- Openness may create conflicts in the workplace and some human resource departments are not fully supporting this growing need.
Effects of Disclosure on Sexual Orientation
- Most employees who make their sexual orientation known experience: disfavor (being unliked) from co-workers, and job discrimination
- Sexual Orientation is not a protected class under federal legislation, meaning in most jurisdictions they are not protected from discrimination
Result of Disclosure on Sexual Orientation
- A pattern of secrecy is believed by some to create a large amount of stress and anxiety for homosexual workers
- A great deal of effort is required by gay and lesbian workers to conceal their orientation and such strategies result in: Dissatisfaction, Feeling Misunderstood, Pressured, Detached and Alienated, Culminating in a desire to leave the oragnization
Implications of HR Managers
- Disclosure of sexual orientation by more openly gay workers are more emotionally committed to the organization
- HR managers are concerned that diversity may create environments in which gay and lesbian workers can be relaxed and candid about their orientation (difficult to achieve, given the resistance that coworkers may have)
- A physical or mental condition that substantially limits a major life activity:
- Caring for oneself
- Performing manual tasks
Any loss or abnormality of a psychological physiological or anatomical structure or function
Encompasses any disadvantage for a given individual, resulting from impairment or a disability, that limits or prevents the fulfillment of a role that is normal (depending on age, sex, and social and cultural factors) for that individual
Medical Model of Disability
Disability in the language of medicine and lends scientific credibility to the idea that physical and mental abnormalities form the root of all problems that persons with disabilities encounter
Social Model of Disability
Acknowledges cultural, social and political factors that contribute to the construction of disability
- Approach that views and values disability as an alternative identity, as constituting a culture
- Based on the 54 million people with disabilities forming a community to reclaim themselves and their power
- Power activists advocate developing a personal political identity. They typically seek radical transformation of attitudes toward disability
- Occupational Safety Health Act (OSHA) established in 1970
- Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- State workers' compensation enactments of the 1980s and 1990s
- American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990
- Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998
- Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA) of 1999
- Heterosexuality holds a privileged status in U.S.
Purpose of Disability in Workforce
- To review the empirical literature related to employers' perceptions of persons with disabilities in the workforce
- To identify characteristics that might affect employer perceptions
Results of Disability of Employee or Applicant
Employers expressed greater concerns over employing persons with mental or emotional disabilities than employing persons with physical disabilities
- Cerebral Palsy
- Emotional problems
- Mental abilities
Results of Disability of Employee or Applicant
- Fuqua et al. (1984) over 90% of the respondents affirm to hiring individuals with physical disabilities or hearing impairments
- 39% affirm to hiring individuals with severe physical disabilities
- 20% affirm to hiring individuals with severe mental disabilities
Result of Specific Disability Population
- 1/3 of the surveyed employers indicate that they would not knowingly hire an applicant with a learning disability
- Employers are less positive toward hiring persons with learning disabilities and affording them special consideration than toward hiring disabled population in general
- 79% of the employers perceived the amount of training and supervision for workers with mental retardation to be greater than that for non-disabled co-workers
Results of Previous Experience with Individuals with Disabilities
- Employers with previous experience employing individuals who are deaf have more positive attitudes toward hiring such a person again
- Employers with limited or no experience hiring persons who are deaf expressed concern over worker safety
- The more exposure employers had with employees with disabilities in their own workforce the more positive their reported attitudes
Results of Size of Employer
- Employer size and perceptions of persons with disabilities have been fairly inconsistent
- Results prior to implementation of ADA indicate that larger employers typically hold more favorable attitudes toward individuals with disabilities in the workforce
Results of Sector of Business
- Prior and after implementation of the ADA's employment failed to confirm a relationship between type of industry and employer attitudes toward hiring person with disabilities
- Hiring persons with disabilities did not contribute to an increase in compensation costs or lost time injuries and the most employees with disabilities required no special arrangements
Summary of Findings
- Type of severity of disability may affect the extent to which persons with disabilities are included in the workforce
- Employers appear willing to sacrifice work performance or work quality in exchange for dependable employee
- Employers reports concerns with work potential of employees with disabilities that derive from myths and not from experience
- Increase emphasis on employers recognizing significance of employing workers with disabilities
- Employers who have experience with workers with disabilities have favorable perceptions of persons with disabilities in the workforce
- Employers attitudes toward workers with disabilities have been conducted with managers who have capacity to hire or supervise
Conclusion of Unger
- Employers are increasingly faced with managing a diverse workforce and many have strengthened their efforts in the area of corporate social responsibility
- Employment experiences of persons with disabilities may provide an indication of the extent to which employer attitudes present significant barriers to employment of millions of Americans with disabilities
- "Ableist" = perspective that ascribe superior worth to health, fitness and beauty
- People with physical or mental disabilities are encourage to not apply and stay at home and out of sight
- 66% of working age people with disabilities who are not working would like to work
Two Systems of Wealth
- Work-based: the workplace
- Needs-based: disability insurance programs, welfare and unemployment benefits
- There is pressure for disabled workers to leave work-based systems and move to needs-based system
Barriers of Disabled Workers
- Disability evokes a fear among people who are not disabled, a fear that they will become disabled
- People with disabilities rarely portrayed positively in films or advertising as marginal, ugly, undesirable, sad, disgusting and evil
- People with disabilities are cloaked by paternalism and pity, as reaction to ADA as they have no place in the workplace
- Deafness is a communication based disability
- Language of signs serves as a rich, vibrant, complex visual communication mode that nurtures the life of the Deaf community
- American Sign Language (ASL)
- Deafness cuts across race, class, age, gender, sexual identity, other human classification
- Because Deafness cuts across various categories the task of unifying and articulating a Deaf voice in American life is difficult
Two Schools of Thought
- Manualist: believe that ASL should be the primary language used to educate Deaf children. Believe that society's attitudes Deafness (with a "D")constitute the real barrier.
- Oralist: Argue that speech-reading and lip-reading skills are important in Deaf education. Argue that deafness (with a "d") is a medical disability to overcome with audiology and speech training
Barriers to Work
- Until the late 1970s accommodations were not made available
- Deaf workers were and still are, often last hired and first fired
- Deaf workers receive far fewer promotions and smaller pay increases
- ADA in 1990 made privately owned companies responsible for discrimination
- Another barrier to Deaf workers integrating into the workplace lies with the quality of education of Deaf children
- Another problem is Deaf workers is biases, fears and erroneous assumptions of hearing supervisory personnel and other workers toward Deaf workers
- The systematic stereotyping and discrimination against people because they are old
- Ageism in the workplace has become more visible as members of the bulk of the workforce grow older
- A group of people born during a particular period or year.
- Ex. Baby Boomers
Communication Accommodation Theory
- When we talk with other people, we will tend to subconsciously change our style of speech (accent, rate, types of words, etc.) towards the style used by the listener. We also tend to match non-verbal behaviors.
- Ex. Talking slower or louder for older people
Making arrangements so the workplace is suitable for those who are both young and old.
Not making sure that all employees young and old are taken care of, and not making sure the work place is suitable for all ages.
Trying too hard to make sure everyone is taken care of, almost to the point of offending someone, because they take it as they aren't capable of doing something.
Concepts and Attitudes About Old Age
End of the 19th Century, physicians believed that ALL elderly persons required constant medical care
Deficit Model of Aging
- Describe old age as a pathological condition in which individuals undergo physical and mental decline
- The conception derives from limited experiences with healthy elders
- The study of aging, developed standards and measures to evaluate how people adjusted to the aging process
- Began after World War II
Government Legislative Measures
- Social Security Act of 1935: a federal program of mandatory old-age retirement benefits
- Older Americans Act (OAA) of 1965: funds state agencies on aging to provide social services programs, senior centers, volunteer programs, nutritional services and health care
- Medicare: provides health care for older persons
- Age Discrimination and Employment Act (ADEA): For workers aged 40 and older
Prejudice of Elders
Divided into negative stereotypes and negative attitudes
Negative attitudes: negative feelings about a group
Negative Stereotypes: usually produce negative attitudes which support negative attitudes
- Mental Decline
- Mental Illness
- Sick or disabled are the most common prejudice against elders
- About half of Americans perceive that poor health is a "very serious problem" for most people over 65
- Most elders (85% of 65+) are healthy enough to engage in basic activities of daily living: Eating, bathing, dressing
- Only 5% are institutionalized for poor health
- Belief that most elders no longer have any sexual activity or even sexual desire
- Elders that desire sex are morally perverse or abnormal
- Many older people believe this stereotype makes them ashamed of their sexual urges and prevent their enjoyment of normal sexual activity
- Most persons past 65 have interest and capacity for sexual relations
- Satisfying sexual relations usually continues into the 70s and 80s for healthy couples
- Belief that old people are ugly
- Beauty is usually associated with youth and many people especially women fear loss of their beauty as they age
- Some stereotypical ugliness terms that reflect old people are: crone, goat, witch, wizened, fossil, hag, withered and wrinkled
- American culture typically associates old age with ugliness and youth with beauty
- Some other cultures tend to admire characteristics of old age
- Japan views silver hair and wrinkles as: wisdom, maturity and long years of service
- Ugliness is a subjective value judgment, thus ugliness is in the eye of the beholder
Mental Decline Stereotype
Another common stereotype is that mental abilities begin to decline from middle age onward especially the abilities to learn and remember
Mental Illness Stereotypes
- Another stereotype is that most or many ages are senile
- Most persons older than age 65 have some mental illness severe enough to impair their abillities
- Many believe that typical older persons must be miserable
- Common Terms: Grouchy, Touchy, Cranky, Feeling sorry for themselves
- Depression is more prevalent among the elderly than among younger persons
- Major depression is even less prevalent among the elderly than among younger persons
- Bereavement was more common in the oldest group among women but not among men
- To be old is to be sick
- You can't teach an old dog new tricks
- The horse is out of the barn
- The secret to successful aging is to choose your parent wisely
- The lights may be on, but the voltage is low
- The elderly don't pull their own weight
- Employment: most obvious form of discrimination
- Government Agencies: should be one free place of age discrimination
- Family: There is less but some discrimination against older family members
- Housing: that more elders concentrate in certain states, countries or cities
- Health Care: elders are the only age group covered by national health insurance and they consume disproportionately large amounts of medical care
- Political Power
- Eternal Youth
- Discrimination that is in favor of elders and results from positive or negative stereotypes:
- Health Care
Personal and Institutional Ageism
- Personal Ageism: Prejudice or discrimination by individuals
- Political Ageism: A policy of an institution or organization that discriminates for or against elders (ex. compulsory retirement)
- Unreasonable fear/irrational hatred of older people
- Sense of neurosis
- Extreme form of ageism and rare in our society
- Opposite of gerontophobia and speaks to the love of aging and elders
- Rarely used
- More frequent in traditional societies especially those with gerontocracy
- Extreme form of positive ageism
Rule by elders or dominance by older age groups
Mental Decline Facts
- Most elders retain their normal mental abilities, including the ability to learn and remember.
- Reaction time tends to slow down in old age and it may take somewhat longer to learn something.
- There is little or no decline in everyday short-term memory among normal elders.
- Less than 20 percent of elders cannot remember long-term facts.
- Many conclude that the elderly are unable to continue working and that those few who do continue to work are unproductive.
- "Older workers usually cannot work as effectively as younger workers.
- Most older workers can work as effectively as younger workers.
- Older workers perform as well as, or better than, younger workers on most measures.
- More than 3/4 of people older than age 65 are doing useful work or would like to have some work to do.
- 11% are in the labor force, 21% are retired but say they would like to be employed, 17% work as homemakers, 19% are not employed but do volunteer work, and another 9% would like to do volunteer work.
- The majority of old people are socially isolated and lonely
- The majority of old people live alone
- 2/3's of persons younger than age 65 think that loneliness is a "very serious problem" for most people older than age 65.
- Most elders are not socially isolated.
- 2/3's live with their spouse or family.
- Only 4% of elders are extremely isolated and most of these have had lifelong histories of withdrawal.
- Elders have close relatives within easy visiting distance and contacts between them are relatively frequent.
- The majority of old people have incomes below the poverty line
- The aged do not get their proportionate share of the nation's income
- Not having enough money to live on is a very serious problem for most people older than age 65
- Most elders have incomes well above the federal poverty level.
- Elders hold more assets than younger people.