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Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS SULCIS Working Papers, Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS

No 2011:7:
The Concept of ‘Diversity’ among Swedish Consultants

Alejandro Leiva ()

Abstract: This paper examines Swedish diversity consultants’ definition of ‘diversity’ and its management. While research from the USA and the UK asserts a tension between the concepts of ‘diversity’ and legal ‘equality’, studies on continental Europe and Scandinavia tend to posit their reconciliation. This paper adds to research by using the case of Swedish diversity consultants. While confirming previous reports from the USA on diversity rhetoric’s ‘managerialization of law’, the essay’s interpretative approach brings insight into the strategic ambiguity and the subjective motives underpinning diversity rhetoric. The examination suggests that the same diversity rhetoric that creates managerialization may be used to further other than typically managerial interests. In particular it is suggested that what might be seen, from the researcher’s perspective, as a weakening of legal ideals, may simultaneously be seen by the actors themselves as an extension of legal ideals beyond the limits of antidiscrimination law.

Keywords: Diversity; Consultancy; Discrimination; Law; Ambiguity; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: J71; J83; O15; (follow links to similar papers)

43 pages, November 17, 2011

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