Published on February 26, 2014
Communicating Difference Matters: Perspectives & Practices Brenda J. Allen, Ph.D. January 29, 2014
Goals • Explore perspectives on communicating social identity • Deepen understanding of respectful practices • Generate ideas for applying insights
To enhance diversity university-wide and foster a culture of inclusion. Strategic Priority #5 Strategic Plan 2008-2020
However, diversity alone is not enough. The university must strive to develop a culture of inclusion where diversity is coupled with the principles of value, trust, and respect to create an inclusive campus culture. Strategic Plan 2008-2020
Inclusion . . .is not a favor for a particular group of people. It is, rather a gift we give to ourselves, a way of seeing all people as interconnected and realizing that any solution must address every person. Sapon-Shevin, M. (2007). Widening the circle: The power of inclusive classrooms. Boston: Beacon Press, p. 217.
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” Audre Lorde
Difference = Social Identity* • • • • • • • • Group oriented Membership (perceived by others and/or self) Meaningful to self and/or others Identifiable (labeled) Learned Assigned Socially constructed Power laden *Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In W. G. Austin & S. Worchel (Eds.), The social psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 33–47). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Communication and Social Identity • Social identity (SI) is relational • SI arises through interactions with others • Language a key aspect of constructing SI • Power matters
R-E-S-P-E-C-T Find out what it means to me. Otis Redding the quality or state of being esteemed
Difference & Respect?
Why Respect Matters • • • • • • • Motivation Productivity Creativity Equity Cooperation Morale Well-being
Obstacles to Respect • • • • • • • • Varying connotations Expectations assumed, not clarified Organizational climate Limited or nonexistent recourse systems Implicit and explicit biases Routine acceptance of disrespectful behaviors Bystander complicity “Grey areas” *Duke University & Duke University Health System – Office for Institutional Equity Enhancing respect in a diverse workplace (2013).
Contextual Variables* • Nature of relationships • Particular situation • Aspects of self *Duke University & Duke University Health System – Office for Institutional Equity Enhancing respect in a diverse workplace (2013).
Communicating Respect* • Vocal tone/volume • Words and language • Body language • Interpersonal decisions and practices *Duke University & Duke University Health System – Office for Institutional Equity Enhancing respect in a diverse workplace (2013).
So what? Now what?
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