Identity and Belonging – At Work?

Over at Fieldnotes, Gideon Strauss is recounting some of his own remarkable vocational history – starting with his work as a conscientious objector under apartheid in South Africa – and reflecting on identity and belonging at work:

In my late teens I made a conscientious objection against serving in the military of apartheid South Africa, and as a result did community service for about three and a half years in the late 1980s in complaints offices of the apartheid government’s Department of Labor. My immediate office colleagues and supervisors were, at least avowedly, enthusiastic supporters of the policies of that government. At the time, and in the immediately preceding years, I was an active participant in the anti-apartheid movement, albeit in small and relatively insignificant ways. There were deep, seemingly unbridgeable chasms between me and my colleagues in terms of political opinion and religious conviction, and even with regard to smaller, more everyday matters – our taste in jokes differed, I was an asthmatic among chain-smokers, and the only thing we seemed to have in common in an obvious way was a taste for coffee.

That’s from part 1, and here’s part 2.


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