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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
In A New Perspective on Race-Related Problems in Corporate American Companies, author Jermal Shim explains that most problems between persons of different races and/or cultures are interpreted as racial problems when, in reality they are problems involving lack of understanding in the workplace. The author contends that particularly in America, we have been conditioned by our history of racism and that this collective consciousness is transmitted from one generation to the next. Behaviors are seen as consistent among and between racial groups with attitudes reflecting the group mentality rather than the individual thought process. Shim believes that race-related issues in the workplace affect both white and non-white employees and that they oftentimes pervade the work environment.
Probably the most productive portion of the book was that which dealt with solutions for the non-white employee who feels racial discrimination. Shim suggests that Blacks and other minorities first need to know who they are internally before they can fight against negative external forces. Emotions must be controlled while values are developed and practiced. Then, approaches to trusting relationships may be tried while looking toward traditional role models for guidance. Although A New Perspective may not be applicable in many progressive companies, Shim has given the reader food for thought as well as strategies for coping, means of producing work-related harmony, and programs to produce change in currently noxious work environments. While trying to avoid placing blame and judging, Shim offers non-white employees a means to begin to make changes without taking drastic measures.