Valuing Diversity Instead of Constructing Deviance: A Future Perspective for Sociological Research?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 10:45-12:15
Location: Seminar 52 (Juridicum)
RC29 Deviance and Social Control (host committee)

Language: English

The description of contemporary societies as “diverse” is en vogue. This holds true for science as well as other fields, e.g. economy (diversity management) or policy (diversity policy). The ambiguous but normative potential of diversity no doubt accounts for this development. 
Sociological discourse has hitherto referred to notions such as deviance, heterogeneity, intersectionality or (social) inequality, whereas diversity is commonly limited to diversity management or used as an umbrella term. Despite the growing popularity of the concept, European sociology lacks a systematic integration of diversity research. 
Thus, are the growing number of sociology of diversity chairs and diversity studies programmes just trends, or do they betray a social need? Are marginalised topics truly poised to garner more attention? Can diversity research really pave the way towards a more desirable future?
Our aim is therefore to draw attention to previously neglected issues such as dis/ability as one dimension of diversity. Hence we encourage presentations focusing on the following issues: 

  • What are the different approaches to diversity and what is their analytical potential? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a sociology of diversity compared to traditional sociological approaches? 
  • What is the relation between concepts of diversity and theories of inclusion and exclusion or inequality? Does the concept of diversity necessarily imply a neglect of structural discrimination? 
  • (Why) are there preferred categories of difference such as race, class and gender in intersectional research? To what extent is the category of impairment/disability relevant?
Session Organizers:
Dominik BALDIN, Technical University of Munich, Germany and Laura DOBUSCH, MPI for Social Law and Social Policy, Germany
Dominik BALDIN, Technische Universitat Munchen, Germany and Laura DOBUSCH, MPI for Social Law and Social Policy, Germany
Being Different: Neurodiversity and Neurosocial Subjectification
Fabian KARSCH, Technische Universitat Munchen, Germany
Diversity in Society: The Disability Perspective
Sarah REKER, TU Munchen, Germany; Christiane KELLNER, TU München Lehrstuhl Diversitätssoziologie, Germany