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From Cornrow Village to Corporate City II: Culturally-Based Classroom Guidance for Transitioning High School Students

This unit is designed as a series of workshops, or “guidances,” to be used by high school counselors in collaboration with instructors of various subjects, as the need arises. It will reinforce and build upon the self-awareness and esteem developed in Part I by introducing students to the ethnographic study of corporate culture as a subset of occupational folklore. Students who are already used to code-switching in response to changes in context will develop the tools for reflecting on what it means to move between cultures, to be bi-culturally fluent. Students will learn to observe their own stylized ways of communicating through language, dress, movement, and other forms of expression and to contrast these with forms of expression that are hallmarks of corporate culture.  They will learn to analyze these as forms of communication that appropriately express membership in an occupational group. They will study ways in which corporate employees critique and even mock corporate culture in order to reflect on its meanings. The goal of the guidances is to build students’ confidence in their abilities to access and participate in unfamiliar cultural settings, especially those they are likely to encounter in the world of corporate employment.

Karon Waters
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