Dr. Angela Gist, an Assistant Professor in Communication Studies, was recently featured as a guest speaker in the departmental colloquium series. Dr. Gist received her Bachelors from Ohio University in Journalism and Advertising, her Masters from University of Georgia in Mass Communication and Advertising, and her Doctorate from the University of Missouri in Organizational Communication. Dr. Gist is in her second year of teaching and research at the University of Kansas and has quickly become very involved in the local campus community. Her research interests broadly focus on organizational communication, with a more specific focus on social mobility, social class, and power.
Dr. Gist’s presentation, entitled “Qualitative and Theoretical Inquiry of Working-Class Dignity Violations in Organizations”, focused on the experiences of the working-class. Themes of her research included the linguistic infantilization of the working-class unemployed, classed disproportionate (dis)respectful social interaction, and the inherent inequality that is embedded into the institution of work.
The first of the two studies that she presented took a critical ethnographic approach to further explore a blue-collar unemployment support organization. “The findings of this study critique the organizational culture revealing that the organization operates on an implicit assumption that infantilizes the working-class unemployed and produces tension-filled, productive-destructive results in the experiences of the working-class job seekers”, says Dr. Gist.
Additionally, Dr. Gist discussed a research project that she co-authored with Dr. Kristen Lucas from the University of Louisville, that focused on a duel-path model by which managerial practices negatively impact dignity.
“I am joining an interdisciplinary scholarly conversation that seeks to empower marginalized voices. As a critical interpretive scholar, the work I do ultimately seeks to ethically foreground the stories and experiences of individuals with lower social class status, so that we can all have a better understanding of their standpoint. I hope to impact organizational communication by nuancing the knowledge we have regarding identity differences and by illustrating the way engaged scholarship can positively construct and improve local communities”, says Dr. Gist on the impact of her scholarly work in the organization communication field.
Communication Studies has hosted the colloquium series since the fall semester of 2008. Speakers are selected by the Colloquium Committee and come from a wide range of research backgrounds and interests. The goal of hosting the Colloquium Series is to learn from fellow scholars, enrich interdisciplinary relationships, and celebrate research that continues to impact our discipline and others.
We would like to thank Dr. Gist for sharing her research. Additionally, many thanks to those that have presented in the past and those that we look forward to hosting in the future!
If you would like to find more information on the Colloquium Series, please visit this link.