Report Update: Deauthentication Survey Results (June 2019)

[This post was originally published on June 3, 2019 at The Ink On The Page.]

Late last spring I shared the original results of my deauthentication survey with TIOTP readers. The survey came out of my desire to explore this sub-phenomenon that seems to occur for racial/ethnic minority academic librarians who are experiencing low morale (repeated and protracted exposure to workplace abuse and neglect – Kendrick, 2017). As I reviewed the data, I solidified a definition of the term: 

Deauthentication is a cognitive process that People of Color (PoC) traverse to prepare for or navigate predominantly White workplace environments, resulting in decisions that hide or reduce aspects of

  1. the influence of their ethnic, racial, or cultural identity,  and 
  2. the presentation of their natural personality, language, physical and mental self-images/representations, interests, relationships, values, traditions, and more,

to avoid macro- or microaggressions, shaming, incivility, punishment or retaliation, and which results in barriers to sharing their whole selves with their colleagues and/or clients. (Kendrick, 2018)

The following results reflect 108 responses (up from 67 responses in June 2018).

  • 28% African-American; 24% Asian; 16% Caucasian; 5% American Indian/Alaska Native
  • 85% female
  • 80% have engaged in deauthentication
  • 73% have reduced or avoided conversations about personal or family relationships
  • 72% have reduced or avoided discussions of religion, politics, or social viewpoints
  • 70% have reduced or avoided conversations about cultural or ethnic (formal or informal) traditions
  • 58% have reduced or avoided conversations about non-work related activities, hobbies, or interests
  • 58% have changed or (re)considered creating or sharing content on their social media accounts
  • 53% have changed or (re)considered clothing presentation
  • 47% have changed or reconsidered body movements or non-verbal behaviors
  • 45% have changed accent, speaking tone, or language structure

The survey remains open, and I will periodically share updates on this blog.

Works Cited

Kendrick, K.D. (2018, Feb. 5). Considering: Deauthenticity in the workplace. Retrieved from

Kendrick, K.D. (2017). The low-morale experience of academic librarians: A phenomenological study. Journal of Library Administration, 57(8): 846-878. Retrieved from


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