What is Diversity?

Policy brief

Horst, Cindy & Marta Bivand Erdal (2018) What is Diversity?, PRIO Policy Brief, 12. Oslo: PRIO.

Cultural and religious diversity is a common characteristic of many European societies and cities. On the one hand, ‘diversity’ can refer to the quality or state of having many different forms, types and ideas, and is thus conceived of as a desirable source of potential, often associated with inspiring creativity and driving innovation. On the other hand, diversity is often understood as identity- and value-based diversity, and associated with a range of societal problems, including a perceived threat to social cohesion. In this policy brief, we explore how to study and write about diversity in ways that do not reproduce essentializing ideas about which aspects of difference matter and which do not.

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