Critical Turns in the Evolution of Diversity Management



This paper seeks to extend and invigorate existing critiques of the aims and claims of diversity management. Four overlapping turns – demographic, political, economic and critical – akin to the broader and critical ‘turns’ in the humanities and social sciences are identified. When existing critiques are reconsidered through the framework offered by these four turns, then diversity management can be seen to: perpetuate rather than combat inequalities in the workplace; diminish the legacy of discrimination against historically repressed minorities in the workplace; continue to prescribe essentialist categories of difference and present problematic dualisms for effecting organizational change.