CES: The Rise of Diversity Rhetoric in Germany and its Complicity with the "Myth of Merit"


Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 12:15pm to 1:45pm


Adolphus Busch Hall, Cabot Room
For up-to-date information see the CES website.

An affirmative rhetoric regarding diversity and related practices is becoming increasingly popular in German-speaking countries. However, similar to other national contexts, the actual ramifications of this “diversity turn” for differentiating between desired and undesired diversity and, eventually, for legitimizing inclusion and exclusion, are highly controversial. An empirical investigation of diversity policies in practice shows that ideas of performance play a key role when organizations draw boundaries between legitimate diversity and “differences too far”. However, organizations rarely discuss or question what "performance" is, and how it can be achieved, which perpetuates the “myth of merit”.

Laura Dobusch
Visiting Scholar, CES, Harvard University

Arthur Goldhammer, art.goldhammer@gmail.com