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Thursday, December 5 • 10:30am - 12:30pm
BREAKOUT SESSION FIVE: Politics & Policy

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Chair: Luke Oldfield


Stephanie Kelly & Tony Carton: The separation of powers… and context…..and the social: A discourse analysis of leadership, diversity and bullying in the most powerful workplace of all

In May 2019, the New Zealand Parliament released the ‘Independent External Review into Bullying and Harassment in the New Zealand Parliamentary Workplace – Final Report’. In this report, separate recommendations are made to address the roles of leadership development and diversity in the management of workplace bullying. New Zealand has one of the highest levels of workplace bullying in the OECD. Yet, this is not considered in this Review. Much of the academic literature on these issues has been dominated by the fields of psychology, human resources, law, and organisational studies. It seems the Independent External Review is no exception. This has led to a somewhat psychologised non contextualised, ahistorical focus on both the defining and understanding of the issues and trends around workplace oppression and power; with proposed solutions in keeping with this lens of analysis. Growing sociological literature recognises that workplace oppression, leadership and diversity are all processes and practices that operate beyond the limited concepts of individual leaders and followers, bullies and targets, as essentialised categories of difference; and that workplace bullying is a consequence of macro-structural issues and power, rather than simplistic interpersonal or organisational explanations. We undertake a discourse analysis to examine how leadership, diversity, and bullying are constructed in this Review and we situate this in a sociologically informed understanding of workplace oppression, leadership, and diversity. We finish with the curious question of how examination of these issues has been removed from the political and from the responsibilities of leadership in the most powerful workplace of all.


Kevin Dew: Identifying inequalities in action: Observations of the health-care system

There are powerful representations of unequal health outcomes for different people in Aotearoa New Zealand. For example, on average Māori have poorer health outcomes than non-Māori, and those living in more materially deprived areas have poorer outcomes than those in less deprived areas. Much of these inequalities in health outcomes can bes explained as a consequence of historical processes, current social policy and political decisions that exacerbate or combat social inequaltiies. However, interactions between people who provide care and cure and people who require or want care and cure also contributes to health inequalties. In this presentation I will draw on emprical data from different research projects to consider some ‘mechanisms’ of inequality that operate at the level of interaction between people in the health-care system – in hospitals and general practices. In doing so I want to consider some ways in which an ethnomethodological sensibility can connect with critical social theory.


Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream.

Presenters
avatar for Luke Oldfield

Luke Oldfield

PhD Candidate, University of Auckland