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Title: Diverse Resistance to Diversity Discourses: Minority professionals’ engagement with discourses in the Flemish workplace
Authors: VAN LAER, Koen 
Janssens, Maddy
Issue Date: 2010
Source: 2nd 'Equal is not enough' Conference, Antwerp, 1-3 December 2010.
Abstract: This article based on interviews with fifteen second-generation professionals of Turkish or Maghrebi descent, explores how minority professionals engage with diversity discourses. Unlike other studies taking a discursive approach to diversity, we focus on the way the subjects of diversity discourses play an active role in reproducing or challenging them. Inspired by recent developments in the organizational resistance literature, we analyze how they engage with two important diversity discourses. A first way involves resisting specific identity positions, or (only) being seen as the representative of some "allochthonous" category. We distinguish two forms in this, one relating to the economic discourse, dealing with diversity-related functions and another in social interactions with their coworkers. A second way involves challenging the meanings attached to their backgrounds or identities, by "educating" their coworkers, or directly challenging specific negative perceptions. However, as these forms of resistance can also reproduce the same discourses and power structures, they never lead to a state of complete emancipation. Moreover, through engaging with the economic and societal discourses, these professionals manage to pursue a career in a majority-dominated workplace, but this keeps them locked in the dominant liberal discourse.
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Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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