Diversity (politics)

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In sociology and political studies, the term diversity is used to describe political entities (neighborhoods, student bodies, etc.) with members who have identifiable differences in their cultural backgrounds or lifestyles.

The term describes differences in racial or ethnic classifications, age, gender, religion, philosophy, physical abilities, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, gender identity, intelligence, mental health, physical health, genetic attributes, behavior, attractiveness, or other identifying features.

In measuring human diversity, a diversity index measures the probability that any two residents, chosen at random, would be of different ethnicities. If all residents are of the same ethnic group it's zero. The diversity index does not take into account the willingness of individuals to cooperate with those of other ethnicities. If half are from one group and half from another it's .50.[1]

International human rights law

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities affirms to "respect difference and acceptance persons with disabilities as human diversity and humanity" for protection of human rights of persons with disabilities.[2]

Ideology

Political creeds which support the idea that diversity is valuable and desirable hold that recognizing and promoting these diverse cultures may aid communication between people of different backgrounds and lifestyles, leading to greater knowledge, understanding, and peaceful coexistence.[citation needed] For example, "Respect for Diversity" is one of the six principles of the Global Greens Charter, a manifesto subscribed to by Green parties from all over the world. In contrast to diversity, some political creeds promote cultural assimilation as the process to lead to these ends.

Use in American academia

This use of diversity in this sense also extends to American academia, where in an attempt to create a "diverse student body" typically supports the recruitment of students from historically excluded populations, such as students of African-American or Latino background as well as women in such historically underrepresented fields as the sciences.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Mapping L.A..," Los Angeles Times website
  2. ^ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Article 3 "General Principles", (c)
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