WeberWorldCafé “Diversity – Limits and Opportunities”

 24st November 2016, 3 – 6pm

Alte Mensa, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Wilhelmsplatz 3
37073 Göttingen

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In recent years the concept of “diversity” has almost become a civic virtue as society continued to become more diverse due to, among other factors, increased mobility, less strict gender roles, improved living conditions and individualization processes. From NGOs to government agencies and the business world, in public discourse and in policy debates the call for “more diversity” is greater than ever. At the same time, diversity studies emerged as a new research trend in the social sciences, trying to comprehend how the diversity of lifestyles, value systems and experiences has impacted, or might affect forms of social interaction, self-conception and internal integration of societies. While the precise impact of diversity remains vague, researchers disagree on the meaning of their findings, since most studies can only point to correlations between attitudes and facts without determining whether they are causally related.

Diversity: Protagonists and Concepts (photo: Gesche Schifferdecker)

Diversity: Protagonists and Concepts (photo: Gesche Schifferdecker)

For the workplace, some studies show that in multinational corporations as well as in schools and universities, diversity can be a driver of performance and innovation. Other research results suggest that an increase in diversity might also bring tensions, mistrust and misunderstandings depending on the social environment and mediation. Diversity’s effects on communities are equally ambivalent: According to conflict theory, people living in communities where other ethnicities and minorities are present are more likely to feel threatened and show a lower level of trust. Other theories are based on the assumption that the heterogeneous composition of a community enhances their resources and thus their chances of a rich and peaceful life. These contradictory opinions illustrate that the opportunities as well as the potential limits of diversity are still debated.

In our WeberWorldCafé, we want to further discuss what impact and effects diversity has – as well as examine the powers that constitute and produce diversity – by considering discourses on diversity, institutional frameworks, migration flows, and goals and interactions of individual actors. In order to touch on as many aspects of diversity as possible, we will bundle issues to be discussed at eight “topic tables”:

Conflicts in Multi-Ethnic Societies – How Do We Get Along, If You Are Not Like Me?

Fighting Complex Structures with New Concepts: How “Superdiversity” Can Help Us Understand Contemporary Migration Flows

Can Cool Little Boys Wear Skirts? Gender, Parenthood and Sexuality

Facing Various Axes of Oppression – Individual, Political and Legal Approaches to “Intersectionality”

Diversity Management – Why Should We Work Successfully Together If We Differ in Culture, Age, Gender and Even Language?

Learning from the Past? Facts and Fictions from Historical Societies with Greater Diversity

Optimizing the Body: From Health Protection to Genetic Embryo Modification

DiverCities. Gentrification, Social Mobility and Public Spaces

 is an interactive format that brings together students with researchers and other experts from different fields twice a year. Each issue we will discuss is illuminated at one of the eight “topic tables”. Both in terms of participants, as well as with regard to the topics, the WeberWorldCafés are transregional and offer inspiring discussions

The WeberWorldCafé on “.Diversity – Limits and Opportunities” will be hosted by the Max Weber Stiftung and the Forum Transregionale Studien in cooperation with the German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo (DIJ), the Diversity Research Institute of the Georg-August-University Göttingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. “Diversity – Limits and Opportunities” is curated and organized by Phoebe Holdgrün (DIJ Tokyo) and Gesche Schifferdecker (Max Weber Stiftung).

Max Weber Stiftung

The Max Weber Foundation promotes global research, focused on the areas of social sciences, cultural studies and the humanities. Our research is conducted at ten institutes in various countries across the globe with different and independent fields of focus. Through our globally operating institutes, we are able to contribute to the communication and networking between Germany and our host countries or regions. By promoting academic dialogue and merging academic and non-academic employees from several countries with different cultural backgrounds, the Max Weber Foundation is able to strengthen the internationalization of research.

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4 Antworten

  1. 19/08/2016

    […] ← Vorherige […]

  2. 10/10/2016

    […] out what diversity is all about and discuss your questions at the sixth WeberWorldCafé „Diversity – Limits and Opportunities“ taking place on November 24th, 2016, from 3 – 6pm at Alte Mensa, Georg-August-University […]

  3. 06/12/2016

    […] When Gesche Schifferdecker of the Max Weber Foundation asked me if I would like to join the Weber World Café on „Diversity – Limits and Opportunities“ to meet professionals from different fields of expertise and exchange ideas on the […]

  4. 13/12/2016

    […] Studien, zu einem Forum nach Göttingen, das dieser Diskussionsform eine Bühne bot. „Diversity – Limits and Opportunities“: Unter diesem Thema wurde erörtert, wie sich Andersartigkeit zeigt, wie die Gesellschaft mit […]

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