Non-Fiction Books:

Debating Diversity

Analysing the Discourse of Tolerance



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Debating Diversity by Jan Blommaert
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Immigration, racism and nationalism are major political themes throughout the Western world, vigorously debated by politicians, the media, and the public at large. In the process, discourses are created and new ways of speaking about ourselves and others emerge. Debating Diversity is a highly original and controversial work which turns the debate itself into a topic, and suggests that a major problem of diversity may be the way in which it is debated. Based on empirical analysis of data taken from the context of migrant policies in Belgium, Debating Diversity discusses the way in which moderate voices in the debate construct a powerful discourse of tolerance. This tolerant discourse is found in news reporting, policy statements, social-scientific research reports, and government-sponsored antiracism campaigns and training programs. Despite the vast differences between this rhetoric of tolerance and the discourse of radical racist and nationalist groups, a remarkable consistency is revealed. The authors refer to this as homogeneism, a fundamental non-acceptance of diversity. An intimate connection is shown between the Belgian debate and aspects of wider European nationalist ideologies, and parallels are drawn with conclusions of research on racism and nationalism throughout the world, particularly in France, Germany, The Netherlands, the UK and the US.
Release date NZ
August 13th, 1998
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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