Göttingen Diversity Research Institute is committed to reflexive diversity research.
Starting points for reflexive research on diversity
We see diversity as a result of societal differentiation processes and social diversification practices. In order to understand these processes and practices, theories of diversity have to be empirically grounded and empirical insights have to be reflected in theory. Researchers and practitioners view social categories - e.g. gender, class and race, and also age, sexual orientation, disability and religion - as very important.
Moreover - and closely tied to these categories above - organisational position, profession or work place are also seen as important. These categories are regarded as effects of social constructions, along which power relations unfold. What is regarded as "diversity" depends crucially on notions of the "normal" and the "other".
Main objectives of reflexive research on diversity
Reflexive diversity research aims to analyse the historical origins, the social relevance and societal responses as well as the social consequences of differentiation and the establishment of hierarchies.
However, the reflexive transfer between research and practice is paramount. Reflexive diversity research seeks to provide empirical data and improve theoretical approaches stimulating societal change such that "diversity" becomes regarded as "normal".
Characteristics of reflexive research on diversity
Reflexive diversity research is characterised by the following aspects:
- Analysis focuses not only on individual dimensions of diversity but also on the interrelationships between these dimensions (intersectional research strategy).
- Both discrimination and privilege are examined (dual research orientation).
- Processes of diversification are analysed using quantitative and qualitative methods and from multiple i.e. transdisciplinary perspectives (transdisciplinary research programme).