20. april 2015

The duplicity of diversity: Caribbean immigrants in Denmark

‘Diversity’ has become a key term in recent years, yet it has been criticized for being a vague concept with different and contradictory meanings. This article demonstrates that there are at least three inherent meanings of the term: (1) discerned difference attributed with positive or negative value; (2) diverting diversity providing pleasure and amusement; and (3) distracting diversity directing attention from something of greater importance. I argue that the concept of diversity can be a fruitful focus in ethnographic research, if its inherent multiplex and duplicitous character is recognized and actively employed. This is shown through an analysis of the ways in which immigrants from the English-speaking Caribbean to Denmark have been perceived and received as foreigners since the 1960s as representing different kinds of diversity.

Karen Fog Olwig: "The duplicity of diversity: Caribbean immigrants in Denmark" in Ethnic and Racial Studies; volume 38, Issue 7, 2015