Archive for June 13th, 2015

June 13, 2015

Tokenism

token black

Tokenism [toh-kuh-niz-uhm] is the policy and practice of making a perfunctory gesture towards the inclusion of members of minority groups. The effort of including a token employee to a workforce usually is intended to create the appearance of social inclusiveness and diversity (racial, religious, sexual, etc.), and so deflect accusations of discrimination.

Employment tokenism misrepresents the person possessing inferior intellect, job skills, and work capacity, relative to the other workers of the group, as well as a superficial personality that is sufficiently bland and inoffensive to not affront the sensibility of superiority inherent to white privilege. Alternatively, the differences of the token person might be over-emphasized and made either exotic or glamorous, or both, which are extraordinary conditions that maintain the Otherness that isolates the token worker from the group.

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