National Conference on Reconciliation, Multiculturalism,Immigration and Human Rights

Dr Zane Ma Rhea
National Centre for Gender and Cultural Diversity, Swinburne University of Technology

Whitewashing Diversity: the management of diversity from a 'white superiority' perspective

In the early 90s, the term 'diversity' became a popular way to open up discussion about how people from different worldviews could get their perspectives into public debates about issues of social importance globally and locally. This was in contest with the structurally oppressive face of global economic rationalism.

Throughout the late 90s there has been an increasing tendency to 'corral' these interventions back into the well-tried assimilationist language through the discourses and practices of the 'management' of diversity.

This paper will explore theoretical approaches and give some workplace applications of alternative ways to approach discussions that enable a creative nexus between, for example, ethnicity, gender and indigenous rights, a nexus that supports and enhances both diversity and inclusivity in the discussions about human rights.

Dr Zane Ma Rhea works at the National Centre for Gender and Cultural Diversity, Swinburne University of Technology. She crosses higher education and corporate spheres, facilitating courses to conducting research about the management of diversity in Australia. In particular, she takes people through an investigation of whiteness and white supremacist thinking, challenging contemporary theories and practices about the production, legitimation, reproduction and dissemination of knowledge.

Presentation Type
30 min paper

University of Technology, Sydney, 1-2 December 2000

Papers & Workshops