Self-fashioning

| July 17, 2016

Paper , Order, or Assignment Requirements

***The requirement is that we have continued to explore the concept of self-fashioning, paying close attention to how people in

“transition” are often tasked with re-fashioning their identities through the genre of the resume, networking, and even modifying appearance. Ehrenreich’s Bait and Switch puts the project of self fashioning for the workplace under close scrutiny, revealing the dilemma to conform to get the job or not and describing how personality and passion often trump intelligence, experience, and accomplishment. But, self-fashioning also has its limits based on factors that are often out of our control such as gender,

race, age, and, at times, appearance. Given this conversation about self-fashioning for the workplace, make an argument that draws on Bait and Switch to explore the tension between being oneself and selling oneself for the workplace. Is there truth in the truism to “fake it until you make it”? How do we know if we’ve gone too far? You may draw on essays we’ve discussed in class (and your own experience if applicable) but may not draw on outside sources.

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Also this is a requirement

Listen to the buzz: Can we “fake it til we make it”? What does this expression mean and is there truth to it? Is it ethically permissible to “fake it”? What can (and can’t) we fake? What does it mean to “make it”? How do we know if we are actually faking? What’s the difference between projecting confidence and fakery, between “honest overconfidence” and lying? Is there a difference?

Does this difference play out in the same way over different forms of communication: the resume, the elevator pitch, the interview, in daily workplace interactions or team-projects? Are “faking” and “making” industry specific or do they cover a general approach to job-seeking? Whose determining what it means to “make it,” and does this influence how one might go about fashioning/selling oneself? How is Ehrenreich’s experience with “transitioning” different from or similar to other job-seekers? Where is the self-fashioned Self in all this? Might there be a darker side to the relationship between education and work?

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*****In your essay, you will need to articulate and represent the conversation. Think “They Say;”

who’s saying what and why? How do these claims intersect and/or complicate each other? When

you think of the “I Say,” you want to ask yourself: do I agree with one of the authors? If so, why?

Am I bringing attention to a new or under-examined issue in this conversation? Am I disagreeing

with an author? If so, why? These questions can help you formulate the level-three question that you

want to pose to the others. Or, perhaps, you do want to ask an author a specific question about their

argument while the others listen.

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