Moving Beyond Nomothetic Category: Diversity as Symmetry

By:
Dr. Elizabeth DePoy,
Dr. Stephen Gilson
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While contemporary theories of diversity, based on nomothetic thinking that supports homogeneity of experience within population subcategories, have been essential in promoting affirmative strategies and thus have been successful in expanding equality for disenfranchised groups, we see this paradigm as a contemporary double edged sword, one that is temporarily necessary but that needs to be revised over the long term. In this presentation, we advance a new conceptualization, a progressive theory of diversity that builds on contemporary theory and is informed by a broad examination of interdisciplinary literature and practice.

We begin by looking back at diversity through the lens of history, and then provide criticism of current diversity theory that delimits diversity to embodied or contextual common characteristics. We then propose a theoretical framework that is informed by legitimacy, uncouples diversity from embodied or environmental contextual characteristics, and focuses its examination and action orientation on promoting inclusion and group symmetry.


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Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Moving Beyond Nomothetic Category


Dr. Elizabeth DePoy

Professor, Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, University of Maine
USA

Dr. Elizabeth DePoy is currently the Coordinator of Interdisciplinary Disability Studies at the University of Maine, focusing her scholarship and theory on diversity and informing the creation of inclusive communities. She has authored and co-authored over 50 articles and books, and recently has produced multi-media, universally accessible texts with co-author, Dr. Stephen Gilson. Dr. DePoy is currently pursuing several collaborative research agendas all aimed at advancing universal access to community resources including web and electronic information. Dr. DePoy presents her work locally, regionally, nationally and internationally and has collaborative relationships with international scholars.

In service, Dr. DePoy provides expertise in research and evaluation design through a private, non-profit organization, Evaluation Practice.

Dr. Stephen Gilson

Professor, Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies, University of Maine
USA

Dr. Stephen Gilson is currently professor of Interdisciplinary Disability Studies at the University of Maine, focusing his scholarship and theory on diversity policy and the promotion of inclusive environments. He has authored and co-authored over 40 articles and books, and recently has co-produced multi-media, universally accessible texts with co-author, Dr. Elizabeth DePoy. Dr. Gilson is currently pursuing several collaborative research agendas all aimed at advancing universal access to community resources including web and electronic information. Dr. Gilson presents his work locally, regionally, nationally and internationally and has collaborative relationships with international scholars.

In service, Dr. Gilson provides expertise in policy analysis and evaluation design through a private, non-profit organization, Evaluation Practice.

Ref: H06P0578