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Diversity, Social Justice, and Inclusive Excellence

Transdisciplinary and Global Perspectives

Seth N. Asumah

Publication Year: 2014

An interdisciplinary anthology exploring issues related to diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-x

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi-xii

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pp. xiii-xx

Diversity has become a hallmark of twenty-first century academia in the United States. No institution wishes to be left behind in discursive formations about difference and the impact of identity politics. Clearly, experiences based on culture, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, class, religion, citizenship, age, and developed abilities continue to shape all aspects of human conditions, and the “life of the mind” has to take notice. Diversity discourse also takes into account how...

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pp. xxi-xxii

One cannot complete an anthology without the endeavors of contributing authors and many people behind the scene. We have been assisted by many colleagues in our work on this project. It would have been impossible to produce this book without the support of our families, colleagues at the State University of New York College at Cortland, and friends. Over the years our students, faculty, and staff who have participated in our Summer Institute for Infusing...

Part I: Doing Diversity for Cultural Competence, Social Justice, and Inclusive Excellence

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1: Five Faces of Oppression

Iris Marion Young

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pp. 26-55

I have proposed an enabling conception of justice. Justice should refer not only to distribution, but also to the institutional conditions necessary for the development and exercise of individual capacities and collective communication and cooperation. Under this conception of justice, injustice refers primarily to two forms of disabling constraints, oppression and domination. While these constraints include distributive patterns, they also involve matters that cannot...

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2: The Vicissitudes of Cultural Competence: Dealing With Difficult Classroom Dialogue

Gale Young and Elizabeth Davis-Russell

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pp. 56-75

As we have entered the twenty-first century, our discussions in higher education seem to have expanded from a focus on cultural sensitivity to cultural competence. How culturally competent is the faculty member who is confronted with a class of culturally diverse students, or a clinician who enters into a psychotherapy relationship with a culturally different client? In this chapter, we shall provide a definition of cultural competence that includes not only individuals, but systems as...

Part II: Gender, Race, Class, Homosexuality, Disability, Immigration, and Animal Oppression in the United States

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3: Teaching Feminist Pedagogy on Race and Gender: Beyond the Additive Approach?

Mechthild Nagel

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pp. 78-91

Feminist standpoint theory and critical race theory have popularized an interlocking systems of oppression approach that raises serious questions about the durability of feminist and antiracist epistemic practices loyal to an “additive” approach (King, 1988/1995; Spelman, 1988). This chapter addresses a dilemma in feminist philosophy: How do we engage effectively with historical texts that marginalize the subaltern other? I argue that the interlocking approach does...

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4: Beyond the Pale: Reflections on the Vulnerability of Black Life in the United States

Mechthild Nagel

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pp. 92-115

The trope “beyond the pale” seems mostly identified with ghettoization of Jews in Imperial Russia. However, it originated from seventeenth- century British paled settlements in occupied Ireland to keep the Irish rebels out. It denotes a transgression of decency standards, namely the proper place of living for Christian (Anglo or Russian) citizens. What does this trope mean to a colonized, enslaved people, to subjects—not citizens (cf. Mamdani, 1996)? Interrogating...

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5: Women’s Work Trips and Multifaceted Oppression

Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo

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pp. 116-135

Being employed is an essential aspect of meaningful participation in society for most people. Access to jobs for different social groups is thus a relevant topic of inquiry. Since, like men, a majority of employed women work outside the home, an examination of women’s commuting is one way to appraise women’s access to jobs....

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6: Racial Identity and Policy Making: Redefining Whiteness

Seth N. Asumah

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pp. 136-153

In the American polity, race has an agency in almost every policymaking process. Race matters in a heterogeneous, patriarchal society such as the United States of America. Race has been used as an instrument for acquiring different forms of results, whether positive or negative. Race will continue to secure a permanent domain in both our individual and institutional patterns of interaction. Consequently, denial of racial identities and race as an irrepressible agency in the...

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7: Examining Cyberstalking Through the Prism of Race and Gender

Tosha A. Asumah and Debra F. Glaser

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pp. 154-177

Having gained coinage since the sixteenth century in the world of poachers, the twenty-first century reference to stalking has been popularized by the media for people who are obsessed with the other and engage in an uninvited intrusion in the other’s life. Just as poachers pursued their game illegally, stalkers do the same to their victims, but this time the game is human. The literature on stalking is impressive, yet the research on why people stalk in reference to...

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8: Framing the Same-Sex Marriage Issue as Equity

Christopher P. Latimer

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pp. 178-207

Similar to other movements supporting the human rights and dignity of marginalized groups, the struggle for gay and lesbian equality in the United States has confronted and endured incredible opposition. Each side of the debate over gay and lesbian civil rights operates inside its own collection of strongly held values, interests, and beliefs. These arguments focus on the equality rights of gay and lesbian couples versus those who believe that morally their religious beliefs...

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9: Oppression’s Three New Faces: Rethinking Iris Young’s “Five Faces of Oppression” for Disability Theory

Elizabeth Purcell

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pp. 208-229

Iris Marion Young’s “Five Faces of Oppression” has become a staple in contemporary social and political philosophy. In her essay, she articulates and extends a Marxian account of oppression to include not only the exploitation facing women and racial minorities, but also to address four additional forms of oppression: marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and violence. The purpose of the present essay is not to question what Young has succeeded in articulating, but rather, to add three new faces to her account....

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10: Gender and the Politics of Invisible Disability

Nancy J. Hirschmann

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pp. 230-243

Disability is generally conceived as highly visible, clearly demarcated from the “normal,” decidedly “other:” indeed, “the other other that helps make otherness imaginable” (Siebers, 2008, p. 48). But disabilities that we cannot or do not see are an important dimension of disability that philosophers and theorists need to think about. Though it may be true that “the question of nonvisible disability is emerging as a highly vexed, profoundly challenging concern” for...

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11: Stigmatized, Marginalized, and Ill: The Oppression of People With Serious Mental Illness

Diane C. Gooding and William T. L. Cox

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pp. 244-275

In the discussion of people struggling for equal access, dignity, and civil rights, people with serious and persistent mental illness constitute an often overlooked group. The authors assert that people with serious and persistent mental illness are a disenfranchised and disadvantaged group. The experiences of stigmatization, discrimination, and marginalization that most, if not all, seriously mentally ill (SMI) people face can be more generally classified as different...

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12: Rethinking United States Immigration Policy, Diversity, and the Politics of Exclusion

Seth N. Asumah and Matthew Todd Bradley

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pp. 276-303

The discourse over the U.S. immigration policy in recent years like other “wedge” issues such as unemployment, racism, sexism, classism, and crime evoke cultural, racial, and socioeconomic disquietudes. Immigration issues, of late, have been made even more contentious with quasi-political parties and social movements like the Tea Party, and by state legislatures such as Alabama, Arizona, California, and New Mexico. Moreover, since the 2008 election (and reelection in...

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13: The Faces of Animal Oppression

Lori Gruen

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pp. 304-317

About 15 years ago, I wrote an article analyzing the connection between the oppression of women and the oppression of animals. I argued that nonhuman animals are oppressed in a myriad of ways and that examining the mutually reinforcing structures that support the oppression of nonhuman animals and the oppression of other groups is an important liberatory project (Gruen, 1993). These claims were, and continue to be, met with some skepticism. In response to...

Part III: Doing Diversity and Facing Global Challenges

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14: The Tale of Two Worlds: Unpacking the Power of the Global North Over the Global South

Gowri Parameswaran

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pp. 320-331

The countries colored blue in the map below are collectively referred to as the Global North, while the countries in red form the Global South. The nations of the Global North are located in the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere (except for Australia and New Zealand), while the nations of the Global South are located in the...

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15: Feeding the City and Financing the Family: Women Market Traders in Suva, Fiji

Susan Dewey and Cema Balabola

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pp. 332-349

Markets, whether centrally organized or ad hoc in nature, provide a critical source of income generation for women throughout the Pacific Island region. This chapter—based on research in the Suva Municipal Market, one of the largest and oldest of all Pacific Island markets— provides an overview of challenges faced by female traders in the everyday course of their work and home lives. The authors argue that a number of forces, including gendered intra-household power dynamics...

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16: China in Africa: Dislocating Cultures, Re-examining the Role of the Nation-State, and the China Model in the Process of Development

Seth N. Asumah

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pp. 350-369

From Angola to Zimbabwe, and from bicycle factories in Accra to soccer stadiums in Zanzibar, the Chinese presence in Africa is irrepressible, and China’s investments on the continent are increasing at galloping rates. Recent economic downturns in the United States, Europe, and China’s trade relations and economic development projects in Africa have Sino-Optimists, Sino-Pessimists, and Sino-Cautionists reassessing the “China Model” in Africa, and what...

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17: Political Struggle of Rural Migrant Hostesses for First-Class Citizenship in Postsocialist China

Tiantian Zheng

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pp. 370-385

Within the 50-plus years of Communist rule, China’s sex industry has gone from bust to boom. During the Maoist era, the Communist Party attempted to level previous class distinctions and promote its egalitarian ideology by eliminating all forms of conspicuous consumption and “reactionary” leisure activities, including the consumption of commercial sex (Wang, 1995). The time, form, and content of leisure activities fell under the scrutiny and supervision of the state, and...

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18: Understanding Disability Rights in a Global Context

Janet M. Duncan

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pp. 386-401

This article discusses the historical and present-day situations of people with disabilities in the United States and internationally. Subjected to routine abuse, living in poverty, and denied basic rights and freedoms, more attention needs to be paid to equal protections for people with disabilities. By drawing parallels with other groups with minority status, critical disability studies theorists have indicated a way forward that demonstrates the capabilities and aspirations of...

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19: Islam, Rentier States, and the Quest for Democracy in the Middle East and Africa

Seth N. Asumah

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pp. 402-427

Religion is among the strongest central categories of diversity in many nation-states, and Islam remains the fastest-growing religion among Africans of the continent and in the African Diaspora. In communities around the world, religion serves as a platform for cohesive organization of the general populace. However, religious diversity makes religious conflict inevitable. In contemplating the bloodshed that was concomitant with nation-building and nationalism, it would be difficult...

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20: African Relational Democracy: Reframing Diversity, Economic Development, and Society-Centered Governance for the Twenty-First Century

Seth N. Asumah

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pp. 428-451

Major sociopolitical changes have taken place in Africa in the aftermath of slavery, colonialism, imperialism, and the new emergence of globalization. The decolonization period and the postcolonial discourse are submerged in the politics of uncertainty. Forces from within and without have remained inevitable in shaping the nation-states of Africa and their relationships with the people of the continent. Decolonization, quasi-colonialism, coups d’état, praetorianism,...

About the Editors

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pp. 452-453

About the Contributors

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pp. 454-459


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pp. 460-469

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781438451640
Print-ISBN-13: 9781438451633

Page Count: 467
Publication Year: 2014

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Cultural pluralism.
  • Social justice.
  • Racism.
  • Blacks -- Race identity -- United States.
  • People with mental disabilities -- Government policy -- United States.
  • Oppression (Psychology).
  • Sex role.
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  • Open Access
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