Discourses of diversity have supplanted those of equal opportunity or social justice in many Western democratic societies. While the notion of diversity is seemingly empowering through its recognition of cultural, religious, racial and gender difference within nation states, the emergence of this discourse during the 1990s has been in the context of neoliberal managerialist discourses that assume social action is fully explicable through theories of maximizing self interest. Thus notions of diversity, while originating in collective demands of social movements of feminism, anti racism and multiculturalism of the 1970s and 1980s, have in recent times privileged learning and leadership as an individual accomplishment and not a collective practice. Thus the dominant discourse of diversity is more in alignment with the deregulatory aspects of the increasingly managerial and market orientation of schooling, decentring earlier discourses of more transformatory notions premised upon reducing inequality and discrimination and developing ‘inclusivity’ in and through schooling. This paper provides a contextual and conceptual framework through which to explore the intersections and divergences of discourses of diversity in schools and their practical application.
Field of Research
130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
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