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Essentializing Racial and Ethnic Identity (Perspectives in Education)

  • By: Kris Gutiérrez, Christina Paguyo & Elizabeth Mendoza
  • In: Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education
  • Edited by: James A. Banks
  • Subject:Diversity & Consistency, Sociology of Education (general)

This entry approaches the issue of essentializing racial and ethnic identity through a discussion of diversity, which helps illustrate the ways that reductive notions of racial and ethnic communities, their practices, and peoples are indexed in the public sphere. This entry locates the notion of diversity as central to a democratic education and examines the prevailing discursive frameworks that have given meaning to how diversity has been understood across disciplinary domains. Thus, the tensions, range of uses, and intentions of the concept of diversity—especially in everyday, legal, academic, and educational discourses and practices—are necessarily addressed.

From a legal studies perspective, for example, Neil Gotanda discusses a precedent for the use of the concept of diversity as a basis for consideration of race in college admissions set ...

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