Diversity: A Contested Concept (Perspectives in Education)

As manifested through differences in race, national origin, language, gender, sexuality, religion, and class, diversity is an intensely debated concept across the entire political spectrum. Diversity per se does not cause social conflicts but is a lens through which causes of conflicts are contested under narratives of assertion and denial of diversity claims. That the mention of the word diversity can be a source of widely varying attitudes and actions can be explained by examining diversity issues in relation to primary philosophical positions along a political economy spectrum of social conservatism, liberal multiculturalism, and critical multiculturalism. Before sampling how these three contested conceptualizations of diversity filter into education, this entry first describes the underlying beliefs that frame attitudes about diversity and difference. These key philosophical ...

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