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Diversity Research and Policy

Diversity Research and Policy: A Multidisciplinary Exploration

Steven Knotter
Rob De Lobel
Lena Tsipouri
Vanja Stenius
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 248
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  • Book Info
    Diversity Research and Policy
    Book Description:

    This volume emerged from a collaborative Network of Excellence project funded by the European Commission. The Network, which comprises thirty-two institutes from Europe and beyond, integrates European research capabilities across disciplines and countries to provide the society and the state with tools for managing cultural diversity as a key element of sustainable development. The work presented here describes the emergence and increasing importance of diversity within academic research and practice and offers valuable insights on diversity management and policy implementation.

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1397-0
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. 7-8)
  4. 1 An Introduction
    (pp. 9-20)
    Rob De Lobel, Vanja Stenius, Lena Tsipouri and Steven Knotter

    Interest in diversity that extends beyond the biological realm has seen a significant increase in multiple spheres, from the academic to the political. While concerns about diversity have their roots in ethics, the discussion has evolved rapidly to address social and economic considerations that stress not only societal duties regarding the treatment (and protection) of diversity, but also the benefits that diversity, in its multiple manifestations, brings to society. Unlike the ethical debate, in which issues are relatively clear, the diversity discourse in socio-economic research has become a source of both hope and concern, having been attributed with the capacity...

  5. 2 Diversity and Social Anthropology
    (pp. 21-42)
    Zdenek Uherek

    Social anthropology is a discipline situated between the social sciences and the humanities that studieshuman behaviour and knowledge including human relationships, symbols and their meanings, values, norms and related phenomena. These areas of the study of social anthropology are frequently incorporated into the synoptic termculture

    Social anthropology includes two areas of study:

    1the interactional area,which studies human behaviour in groups, concentrates on the question of how human groups are structured, the power relations and relations of responsibility and obligation that exist within them, and how the groups conduct themselves in mutual contact.

    2the ideational area,...

  6. 3 Diversity and Sociology
    (pp. 43-56)
    Emilio Gardini

    The birth of the discipline of sociology took place along with society’s efforts to respond to changes in advanced Western modernity. Following the industrial revolution and the major changes that have influenced human history, sociology presented itself as a discipline that seeks to identify the elements that allow for a reading of these major events. Sociology, then, is a response to changing societal conditions. One can affirm that the changes within advanced “modern” society and individuals’ subsequent responses to these changes represent the object of study in sociology. Sociological research today, which is based on the macro theories that we...

  7. 4 Diversity and Criminology
    (pp. 57-72)
    Vanja Stenius

    Criminology is a relatively new discipline that has emerged in the past half-century as a multi-disciplinary outgrowth of sociology that incorporates law and psychology, as well as other disciplines. Criminology primarily concerns itself with the study of the etiology, causes, prevention, and control of crime, exploring crime both at the individual level as well as at the broader social level. As such, crime and its causes are understood both in terms of individual characteristics and the context (familial, social, political, economic) in which crime takes place. The discipline also includescriminal justice, or the study of the system and responses...

  8. 5 Diversity and Ecology/Ecological Economics
    (pp. 73-82)
    Peter Nijkamp and Paulo A.L.D. Nunes

    Our world is dependent on the services provided by our ecosystems such as energy, water, food and wood, not only for our daily consumption and production, but also for our long-term survival. This has led to an increasing transformation of the earth’s surface into productive land, with a subsequent loss of species and the decay in biological variety. The mean species abundance² – a proxy indicator for biodiversity – has shown a reduction of more than 30% in the past decades worldwide. The awareness is growing that the current development is entirely unsustainable and has to be converted into a...

  9. 6 Linguistic Diversity
    (pp. 83-98)
    Jasone Cenoz, Durk Gorter and Kathleen Heugh

    The discipline of linguistics can be defined as the systematic study of language(s), its nature, its structure and the variation in and between languages. Language permeates, gives direction to and in many ways determines human experience. Linguistics as a discipline is closely related to sociology, anthropology and psychology. The main intellectual thrust in linguistics has shifted from historical work at the beginning of the twentieth century to currently three predominant areas of focus:

    1 language systems (semantics, syntax, phonetics/phonology),

    2 the processes of language acquisition, and

    3 language in culture and society.¹

    Variation and diversity within and between languages can...

  10. 7 Diversity and Architecture
    (pp. 99-116)
    Hisham Elkadi and Mirjana Lozanovska

    Architecture can be defined as the art and tectonics of place making. The discipline of architecture involves a broad set of practices including design of the built environment, development of architectural projects either community-based or oriented towards a (private) client, and advisory work for governments. Architecture also involves a wide spectrum of knowledge including urban design and urban planning, and a variety of architectural ideas, theories and movements. Various dominant ideologies have manifested themselves in built form, whereas other, marginal cultural parameters have emerged in the vernacular or traditional architecture. Architecture is considered the medium through which society is organised...

  11. 8 Diversity and Urban Planning
    (pp. 117-134)
    John Betancur and Tüzin Baycan-Levent

    Although urban planning as an art and practice is as old as cities, it only became an organised discipline when it engaged scientific theories and methods to study the relationship between space and human behaviour and to apply this knowledge to the production of an ordered urban environment. It did this by incorporating knowledge from sciences such as engineering, architecture, political and social sciences, health and biology. Initially focused on the rational ordering of space (i.e., land use, aesthetics and physical layout principally), it added new foci, methodologies and theories, over time eventually organising into distinct subfields such as land...

  12. 9 Diversity and Economics
    (pp. 135-158)
    Lena Tsipouri and Tonia Damvakeraki

    Economics is the discipline that studies the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. Within the discipline, however, there has been disagreement since the days of Adam Smith on fundamental issues and on the strict definition of the term economics. What is economics? What should economics be? Is economics a true “science”? (Shiffman 2004). In hisEssay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science, Lionel Robbins defines economics as: “the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses” (1932). Scarcity is a situation in which available resources are insufficient...

  13. 10 Diversity and Diversity Management in Business and Organisation Studies
    (pp. 159-180)
    Kiflemariam Hamde, Maddy Janssens, Koen Van Laer, Nils Wåhlin and Patrizia Zanoni

    Organisation studies deal with organisations, organising, and people who are subject to being organised. The discipline focuses on organisations as an object of study; this includes their specific structures, the ways in which they are managed and the actors within them (Hodge, Anthony & Gales 2003). As a field, organisation studies have their roots in the second half of the nineteenth century, when large-scale organisational entities started to spread in Western societies. The early writings tended to celebrate organisations as the instruments that would once and for all ensure material progress, reconciling collective and individual needs (March & Simon 1958). Today organisation...

  14. 11 Diversity and (Organisational) Psychology
    (pp. 181-190)
    Myriam Bechtoldt

    Work and organisational psychologyis a branch of psychology focusing on the functioning of individuals and groups in organisations. In this field, psychologists analyse working individuals’ and workgroups’ behaviours, attitudes and performance. Additionally, they develop hiring practices, training programmes and feedback systems to improve people’s performance. Work and organisational psychology can be divided into two broad areas of study, as evident in its name. Work psychology focuses on jobs and individuals’ prerequisites to perform well in their jobs. Therefore, job analysis is a major topic, as well as personnel selection, performance appraisal (how to evaluate individual effectiveness in jobs), and...

  15. 12 Diversity and Law
    (pp. 191-214)
    Elena Dingu-Kyrklund and Linus Kyrklund

    Every society is characterised by an at least emerging set of rules and principles, established by an (accepted) authority or authoritative body, that form “a body of rules of conduct of binding legal force and effect, prescribed, recognised, and enforced by controlling authority” (the Free Dictionary by Farlex) forming itslaw, or legal system. The concept of law is complex. It occurs in multiple contexts and disciplines, and should be viewed from both a historical and a geographical point of view, in a society/country-specific perspective, in its evolution. A recurring issue throughout history has been the conceptual distinction betweennatural...

  16. 13 Diversity and Public Policy
    (pp. 215-232)
    Lena Tsipouri, Rob De Lobel and Steven Knotter

    Public policy both implicitly and explicitly addresses diversity issues in a number of ways. Concretely, we can see public policy responses to diversity as governmental attempts – of action or inaction – to manage or deal with the issues, or sets of issues, that arise in different spheres of life. The policy itself is commonly embodied “in constitutions, legislative acts, and judicial decisions”. Some scholars define public policy as a system of “courses of action, regulatory measures, laws, and funding priorities concerning a given topic promulgated by a governmental entity or its representatives”. This section explores the real and potential...

  17. 14 Conclusion
    (pp. 233-246)
    Rob De Lobel, Steven Knotter, Lena Tsipouri and Vanja Stenius

    The original ambition of this book was to collect individual articles from as many disciplines (in social sciences and the humanities) as possible, identify their methodologies and perspectives on diversity and conclude with an interdisciplinary approach, suggesting common ways of perceiving, measuring and addressing diversity in terms of research and policy. Not all disciplines we wanted to include could finally be taken on board, and it was clear that true interdisciplinarity has not been reached yet. Still, many interesting conclusions could be drawn and some steps towards sharing were made.

    Common conclusions were difficult to draw in the definition of...

  18. About the Authors
    (pp. 247-247)
  19. About the Reviewers
    (pp. 248-248)