Diversity FAQ’s No 9: Is Diversity the same thing as Multiculturalism?


There has been a lot of discussion about multiculturalism over the last week particularly with regard David Cameron’s speech at a Security Conference in Munich, which some have argued was bad timing given the English Defence League’s (EDL) demonstration in Luton. See link below:

 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12371994

By way of response to the question:

I stumbled into an article on The Guardian website earlier entitled ‘Multiculturalism and Diversity’, written by Kenan Malik. He defines diversity as ‘lived experience’ and makes a simple point: That it is the politicisation by the political elite and media spin doctors of ‘lived experience’, that remains the pervading reason why the term ‘multiculturalism’ has wrongly replaced ‘diversity’ (or lived experience) in its understanding, application and operation within the workplace.

For Kenan, ‘multiculturalism’ refers to what he calls ethnic and cultural box-ticking. Diversity on the other hand, as I describe it, refers to the professionalisation and maximisation of the ‘petals’ of lived experience within an organisational context…and beyond.

I suggest that the confusion and misinterpretation of the former with the latter has had regretable consequences on the UK’s socio-cultural and political fabric  – as seen in recent events. 

Notice Board:  

I explore the theme of multiculturalism a bit futher in a forthcoming article  (of which the above is a sub-section)entitled: ‘What about me?’ – Is Multiculturalism an outdated 21st century concept? 

To be published toward end of the week…

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