Bringing together prominent scholars in the field of organizational communication to examine the relationship between difference and organizing, this book explores the concept in a comprehensive and systematic way. Part I explores numerous ways in which difference can be critically examined as a communicative phenomenon; Part II addresses how best to teach difference, including pragmatic recommendations for explaining the topic and making it relevant to students’ lives; and Part III broadly examines difference as a central construct in applied organizational communication research. Ultimately, the book serves to carve out a new agenda for studies of difference and organization, and it challenges instructors and students alike to think about and explore difference in a more complex and productive manner.

“But Society is beyond ___ism” (?): Teaching How Differences are “Organized” via Institutional Privilege↔Oppression

“But Society is beyond ___ism” (?): Teaching how differences are “organized” via institutional privilege↔oppression

Systems, structures, institutions are in place throughout society that maintain inequality. Their greatest force may lie in their “everydayness,” their normal taken-for-granted place … Rather than enacting visible oppression, they operate for the most part by continuing to define, produce, study, and adjudicate, over and over, groups of people targeted for “one-down-ness.” (Creighton, 2003a, p. 4)

My chapter explores the ways I encourage students to recognize how differences based on social identity (social identity differences: SIDs) are often organized in ways that are oppressive to some and to be reflective about their privilege in order to transform the ways ...

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