The term ‘diversity management’ refers to the adequate and effective management of differences through:
• dynamic skills
• creative mind-set (ability to see things from different angles)
• and without rigid prejudgement (Ting-Toomey and Chung, 2004)
Diversity management could be understood as the deliberate use of policy tools by the institutions to regulate social relations (Osipov, 2013). Assimilation, multiculturalism, or interculturalism are different forms of diversity management.
The term ‘multiculturalism’ describes a “set of normative ideals and policy programmes that promote (in different ways and by different means) the incorporation of and the participation of immigrants and ethnic minorities into state and society, taking into account their modes of ethnic and religious difference” (Triandafyllidou, 2011, p.28).
‘Interculturalism’ is a form of ‘multiculturalism’, which focuses on individuals rather than collectives, placing emphasis on forms of dialogue and engagement with people from different cultures (Triandafyllidou, 2011).
‘Assimilation’ refers to a process that ends with the complete adaptation of immigrants to the culture of the host country (Maussen et al., 2012). This process occurs gradually: on the one hand, there is a slow fading of the sense of ethnical belonging related to the culture and the traditions of the country of origin, and on the other hand, there is an adoption and adaptation of new traditions, culture and mores (Maussen et al., 2012).
Modern day mechanisms of diversity management has been strongly influenced by the evolution of international standards of human rights and minority rights that followed World War II. There has been a shift from policies and practices of involuntary assimilation and segregation – now considered illegal violations – towards ensuring the rights of individuals to develop cultural identities along with the promotion and protection of diversity. Legal frameworks have continuously evolved, according to the ‘newest’ patterns of diversity within countries.
Source: Handbook on Teaching in Diversity Teach-D project