A Phenomenological Practice
In this conclusion, I o√er a way of thinking about diver-
sity work as a phenomenological practice. Diversity work
does not simply generate knowledge about institutions (in
which the institution becomes a thematic); it generates
knowledge of institutions in the process of attempting to
transform them. We could also think of diversity as praxis,
drawing on a Marxist understanding of the point of in-
tellectual labor: as Marx argues in Theses on Feuerbach,
‘‘Philosophers have only interpreted the world di√erently
but the point is to change it’’ ([1845] 2009: 97; emphasis
added). Drawing on this radical tradition, Paulo Freire
defines praxis as ‘‘reflection and action upon the world in
order to transform it’’ ([1970] 2000: 51; emphasis added).∞
I want to o√er a di√erent way of thinking about the rela-
tionship between knowledge and transformation. Rather
than suggesting that knowledge leads (or should lead) to
transformation, I o√er a reversal that in my view pre-
serves the point or aim of the argument: transformation,
as a form of practical labor, leads to knowledge.
The very labor of transforming institutions, or at least
aiming for transformation, is how we learn about institu-
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