Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Germine H. Awad
As a response to the shifting population demographics in the United States, issues related to diversity have received increased attention in recent years. The word diversity simply means difference, but the term is most commonly used to refer to differences among people. The ways in which individuals may differ from one another are considerable. Some perspectives argue for a narrow diversity focus, whereas others believe that diversity should encompass the myriad ways that people may differ from one another. Some scholars adopt definitions of diversity that focus on particular demographic differences among individuals. Specifically, differences in ethnicity, race, and gender have been the most emphasized dimensions of diversity. The focus on these particular identity elements stems from the sociopolitical history of prejudice and discrimination toward women and minorities. Furthermore, focusing on differences based in ethnicity, race, and gender draws attention to the differential distribution of power in the United Other ...