Concept Of Diversity

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Contextualizing the Concept of Diversity: This section discusses the concept of diversity through contemporary narratives and the legal definitions of diversity in the U.S. and India. "Diversity" as a concept in both countries has been interpreted in contexts of their history, constitutional reference, sociopolitical scenario, and demographic composition. In the U.S., the concept of diversity represents racial and cultural differences; diversity has been perceived, translated, and practiced as "differences" in race/ethnicity and social identities (Ghosh, 2012). Further, diversity in the context of social identity emphasizes historically marginalized social groups such as African American, Hispanic, and Native American.
It is a well-known
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Asian and Pacific Islander) students. In the twenty-first century, this is a critical question - why after fifty years of the Civil Rights Act (1964), access to a college education among minority students is low? Affirmative action in the U.S. has been an important instrument to offer representation and protection to the underrepresented students in higher education. Advocates of affirmative action argue that race is still a factor in the U.S., which determines socioeconomic status and access to higher education. Why then, should race not be a criterion in the college admission process? However, some states' court rulings and referenda banned race-based admission and financial aid to the underrepresented student groups in public universities. These court judgments and majority (whites) domination disregard the purpose of affirmative action and social justice spirit, thereby impeding access to college education by underrepresented students (The Chronicle of Higher Education,…show more content…
Therefore, private sector employers and large corporations increasingly seek out a diverse workforce that has the ability to adapt to different international contexts and work cultures. Diversity enhancement therefore has acquired a strategic importance for both public and private educational institutions in the U.S. The U.S. government also recognized a strategic significance and population dividend to foster institutional diversity. During Obama administration, the federal government issued an Executive Order 13583 in 2011, to encourage equity, diversity and inclusion in public institutions. The order is explicit about eliminating all forms of discrimination, barriers, fostering institutional diversity, enhancing the representation of underrepresented groups, awareness programs, institutional support, and accountability to implement the order. The next section discusses caste in Indian higher education, literature on diversity discourse and campus climate research in the U.S. higher education
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