Ethnic minority world travellers & arrogant perceptions : an Aotearoa New Zealand employment narrative : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of Business Studies in Management at Massey University, Albany, Aotearoa New Zealand

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Currently, there remains a gap within the context of Aotearoa New Zealand, whereby a single study has explored multiple ethnic minority group experiences, focusing specifically on the interaction of their ethnic identity with their employment experience and how these are shaped through their interactions with their dominant group counterparts. This narrative research aimed to fractionally address such a gap by creating an understanding of how tertiary qualified ethnic minority individuals experience the world of employment in Zealand. To contextualise understandings, the research also focused on constructing an understanding of how ethnic minority individuals establish their ethnic minority identity within the context of Aotearoa New Zealand. Additionally, the significance of having a tertiary qualification for ethnic minority individuals was also explored. The current study was motivated by higher levels of workplace discrimination reported by ethnic minority groups and their high uptake of tertiary qualification. Ten participants were engaged in this narrative inquiry via semi-structured interviews. Maria Lugones’ theory of world travelling, particularly the notion of ‘arrogant perception,’ was utilised to mobilise subsequent understandings. The ethnic minority participants in this research experienced the world of employment as an object of their ‘dominant other’s arrogant perception. Such objectification was perpetrated by the participants’ ‘dominant other’ and often involved the separation of the participants’ ethnic minority lived experience from their ethnic minority body and the dismissal of the former. The ethnic minority lived experience of the participants was disregarded by their ‘dominant other,’ and as such, only their ethnic minority body was seen and taken into consideration. Subsequently, the ‘dominant other’ came to see the ethnic minority body of the participants as having a vacuum; hence they then filled it with constructions of how they perceived the ethnic minority person to be. For the participants, such acts of their ‘dominant other’ were typically experienced in two ways, the constant racialisation of their ethnic minority bodies and being constructed as a perpetual foreigner, despite their civic efforts. Both experiences were unwelcomed by the participants and often left their ethnic minority body falsely constructed and thus distorted. The invisible nature of interactions and its deep-seated connections to sociocultural and historical legacies, contributed to the complexity of meanings and navigations within this space. While the arrogant perceptions of the ‘dominant other’ went largely unchallenged. Participants in this research emerged as resilient and skilled ethnic minority world travellers through their narratives, who held out hope and fondness for Aotearoa New Zealand. Findings within such spaces could be particularly of interest to agencies monitoring equitable employment conditions and outcomes for ethnic minority communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. As well as agencies looking to inform workplace diversity and inclusiveness strategies.