By Peter Wood
Range is America's most recent cultural perfect. companies regulate their recruitment and hiring coverage within the identify of a various team. Universities institute new admissions ideas within the identify of a various scholar physique. What its proponents take into account after they cite the compelling value of variety, Peter wooden argues during this dependent paintings, isn't the dictionary which means of the word—variety and multiplicity—but relatively a suite of prescribed numerical results when it comes to racial and ethnic make-up. Writing with wit and erudition, wooden has undertaken during this pleasing publication not anything below the biography of an idea. Drawing on his adventure as a social scientist, he strains the start and evolution of "diversity." He exhibits how range sprawls throughout politics, legislations, schooling, enterprise, leisure, own aspiration, faith, and the humanities, as an encompassing declare approximately human identification. It asserts the primary that individuals are, particularly else, individuals of social teams and items of the ancient reviews of these teams. during this experience, wooden exhibits, range is profoundly anti-individualist and at odds with America's older beliefs of liberty and equality. wooden warns that as a political ideology, range undercuts America's lengthy attempt to beat racial department. He exhibits how the ideology of variety has propelled the Neo-racialists at the political correct in addition to these at the multi-culturalist Left. yet no matter if the range circulate didn't exacerbate racial and social department, he believes that it might be a questionable cultural perfect. As wooden issues out, "Our liberty and our equality call for that we carry each other to universal criteria and that we reject all hierarchy according to heredity—even the hierarchy that comes approximately once we provide current privileges to make up for earlier privileges denied."
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Additional info for Diversity: The Invention of a Concept
Perhaps because of this, when anthropologists lend support to the diversity movement—as many do—they frequently turn obscurantist by invoking the aid of postmodern irony or neo- Diversity: The Invention of a Concept Peter Wood 57 Marxist dialectic. The categories of concocted diversity plainly do not make sense without such aid. But if we stick to arguments that can be considered in the light of day, the distinction between the actual diversity of American life and a political ideal of arranging access to social goods in proportion to the size and strength of social groups—the distinction between diversity I and diversity II—can be both expanded and sharpened.
Most white males have not felt particularly bad about the special preferences they have received because of their race and gender for thousands of years. Why should we? Believe me, compared to the alternative, preferential treatment feels better. But Page mistakes the criticism. He is very likely right that most of the beneficiaries of racial preferences in college admissions (or the newsroom jobs and presidential appointments he refers to) do not “feel bad” about receiving an unearned benefit.
And so far as anthropologists are concerned, we came to see culture as immensely important but also immensely mercurial and virtually impossible to pin down and label. Pinning down and labeling, however, are precisely what concocted cultural diversity requires. Perhaps because of this, when anthropologists lend support to the diversity movement—as many do—they frequently turn obscurantist by invoking the aid of postmodern irony or neo- Diversity: The Invention of a Concept Peter Wood 57 Marxist dialectic.