Diversity: The Invention Of a Concept Hardcover – Aug 1 2009
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Anthropology professor Wood examines two kinds of diversity. Diversity as physical and cultural variation among humans was propounded by nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century systematic anthropology. Diversity as the conviction that physical and cultural traits should determine one's eligibility for admission to college, career advancement, and bestowal of government largesse arose from Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell's freestanding decision in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, in which he allowed that differences in race, gender, and other traits--designated as diversity--were worthy of consideration in distributing social goods. The new diversity quickly became an aggressive ideology, damaging American institutions and poisoning public discourse with "identity politics." Wood blames the Left for using diversity to undermine democracy and faintly praises the marketplace for trivializing it into a matter of lifestyle choice. But the marketplace is interested in making money off diversity, not quashing it. "We will be left," he sadly concludes his otherwise surprisingly congenial survey, "for a long while still, with the reign of diversity's pasteboard stereotypes." Ray Olson
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"A perceptive and closely reasoned examination of the spread and implications of contemporary Diversity." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
This is more than just a silly exercise in treating cultural fads as meaningful differences. Wood describes a two-phase process in which this concept of diversity is a means to a specific end. The first phase (diversity I) stresses hard that people must be defined by a race, even if the minority does not wish to do so, in order to create identifiable "groups" in society. The second phase (diversity II) uses the fiction that diversity of race, gender, sexual preference, etc. is equivalent to diversity of worldview. With this foundation, questions of diversity take on an ominous meaning - when this kind of diversity is emphasized as a policy in the workplace, on campus, or elsewhere, a conflict arises between the interest in selecting the best qualified individual(s) and preserving an overall profile of a workforce or campus population. And when these superficial race, sex, etc.Read more ›
Wood comes to some strong conclusions, but never commits the near universal sin of hyperbole that currently envelopes both political left and right. That alone should earn him four-and-a-half stars. Anyone interested in a thoughtful, well-researched critque of this concept of diversity need look no further than professor Wood. Please, delete Hannity and O'Reilly from your shopping cart and buy this book first!!!
Lets take for example the situation in malaysia when they were building the Petronas Twin Towers. They had Japanese workers building one tower and koreans building the other.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
If you really want to know the truth about "diversity", just read Peter Wood's new book. Of course, some in the diversity crowd don't want the truth told, but Wood... Read morePublished on June 9 2003 by Calvin Fields
Must reads are everywhere. But few of them address such a toxic and dangerous plague as this one. The diversity movement, hiding in the garb of peace, love, and tolerance, is... Read morePublished on May 29 2003 by J. C Clark
I heard Dr. Wood speak in Washington before I purchased the book and he is as eloquent in person as he is on the page. Read morePublished on April 9 2003
My politics and Dr. Wood's are miles apart, but his book is exceptionally well-written, researched and timely (the Supreme Court will be hearing the U-M case next month). Read morePublished on March 6 2003 by jimfocus
Diversity: The Invention Of A Concept by Peter Wood (Professor of Anthropology, Boston University) is a cautionary look at the extent to what the idea of "diversity" is... Read morePublished on March 4 2003 by Midwest Book Review
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