Disciplined to diversity: learning the language of multiculturalism
Author: Andrea Voyer – ANDREA VOYER is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University
This study shows that contemporary multiculturalism is a cultural referent used in the construction of modern and socially-acceptable selves. By analysing the practices of diversity training, I consider one of the ways in which multiculturalism moves from abstract philosophical idea and fodder for policy formation to adoption as a cultural and moral framework that individuals use in establishing their identities, discerning meaning and engaging others. Demonstrating that people must acquire competence in the use of a particular multicultural vocabulary and rules of interaction, I challenge the perspective that both bigotry and acceptance are organic to individuals. Properly multicultural selves are not merely the natural extension of interior individual qualities. Instead, people produce modern identities vis--vis diversity through the use of language and the negotiation of its meaning.
|Keywords: Multiculturalism; cultural studies; diversity training; antiracism; ethnography; discourse|