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Letter of the day: Hazing all about power

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Let's call hazing what it is -- an intimidating reinforcement of the established power relationships within an organization. The 15-year-old player posed a potential risk to the veteran players, since he would be taking someone's position on the team.

Now let's play out the same type of behaviour in the workplace. The company hires a new hotshot sales guy. When the CEO (coach) is away, the acting supervisor (assistant coach) and his veteran sales team (established players) reinforce the organization's accepted power relationships and structure in a physical and sexualized ritual.

Do you think those involved would get suspended for a few days, or would they lose their jobs and face criminal charges for assault or possibly sexual assault?

DAVE GRIFT

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 29, 2011 A19

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