introduction
On Arrival
What does diversity do? What are we doing when we use
the language of diversity? These questions are ones that I
pose in this book as well as to diversity and equality prac-
titioners working in universities. These questions can be
asked as open questions only if we proceed with a sense
of uncertainty about what diversity is doing and what we
are doing with diversity. Strong critiques have been made
of the uses of diversity by institutions and of how the
arrival of the term ‘‘diversity’’ involves the departure of
other (perhaps more critical) terms, including ‘‘equality,’’
‘‘equal opportunities,’’ and ‘‘social justice.’’ A genealogy
of the term ‘‘diversity’’ allows us to think about the appeal
of the term as an institutional appeal. We might want to
be cautious about the appealing nature of diversity and
ask whether the ease of its incorporation by institutions
is a sign of the loss of its critical edge. Although this book
is written with a sense of caution about diversity, I am
also interested in what diversity can and does do. The
more I have followed diversity around, the more diversity
has captured my interest.
How did I come to be following diversity around?
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