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Chapter of Book

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corporate boards, diversity, race, gender


Over the last generation, the concept of diversity has become commonplace and taken-for-granted in discourses ranging from law to education to business. In higher education, for example, it is hard to imagine a faculty job search or a student admissions discussion that was not heavily laden with talk of diversity, in the sense of the representative inclusion of women and racial and ethnic minorities in a group or organization. In this paper we present the results of an interview-based study of the discourse of diversity in a particular business setting: the corporate boardroom. Our principal observation is that—thirty-one years after the Supreme Court’s Bakke decision introduced the term into public discourse--corporate insiders appear not to have arrived at a master narrative to explain the pursuit of diversity on boards of directors. Instead, their accounts stress a variety of factors and feature few concrete examples.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Race discrimination, Sex (Psychology), Corporate governance, Cultural pluralism

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