Theories of Difference

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Psychology, Social Psychology
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Theories of Difference Making a difference with


What’s In A Name? Complicating Identity From Uncle Tom’s Cabin

My name is Other spelling variations, but my family is the only “Holvino” on the Island

Evangelina Holvino

From the Spanish Moors?!

NOT Evangeline Evangelist Eva Angelina Ivonne Evangelino

(That would make me male) No, you do not hear the H in Spanish!

What’s In A Place? Complicating Identity I am from Puerto Rico No.

I’m also from Vermont

Why not Puerto Rican?

In the USA

Lived there For the past 22 years

Not from New York

Complicated political relation

Really! But…

where are you from?

(But, a P.R. in Vermont?)

My accent you mean?

Not poor Not uneducated Not the stereotype

“Between” Latin America & U.S.A.

Dominant Models of Identity TREAT DIFFERENCES AS

• • • •


Innate Fixed Independent and additive variables

The “equality vs. differences” dilemma

Example: Dominant Models SOCIAL IDENTITY GROUPS Religion


Physical Ability



Sexual Orientation



1992: Bailey Jackson, Ed.D.; New Perspectives, Inc.; Amherst, MA.

Mental Ability

Example: Dominant Models IDENTITY WHEEL

Heritage Firm

Regional Location Language/ Accent

Work Style


Social Class



Ethnic Heritage

Economic Status

Learning Style

Education Mental/Physical Abilities & Leadership Characteristics Style Family Status

Religion Sexual Orientation

Work Experience

Communication Style Organizational Role and Level

1996. Marilyn Loden , Implementing Diversity. Irwin Professional Publishing.

A Matter of Context “Bature! Bature” After years of identifying myself as “of color” in the United States, to the Nigerian children I was white.

An Alternative: Postcolonial Feminist Models TREAT DIFFERENCES AS

• • • • •

Relational Socially constructed Subjective identity

Power relations Interdependent

Historically specific and changeable relations


Postcolonial Feminist Model INTERSECTIONALITY





1992: Bell & Nkomo.

The Invitation: A Proposal • View identity as multiple, contradictory, situational, relational

• Re-conceptualize race, ethnicity, gender, class, nationality, sexuality … … as simultaneous processes of identity, institutional, and social practice

The Complexity of Simultaneity THE PROBLEM IS …


How to conceptualize identity as simultaneity of: Race Class

Gender Nationality

Ethnicity Sexuality


How to apply simultaneity in organizational change?

Simultaneity Nationality Sexuality Class Gender Ethnicity Race

Practical Interventions • Surfacing the hidden stories at the intersection

• Identifying and changing differential impact of organizational practices

• Linking organizational processes to social (societal) processes

A Case Study: Goals of WOCG • Drive change for WOC at X to reach their potential - advancement, retention, development

• Support WOC’s professional development • Promote awareness of WOC’s unique challenges

• Recognize company as “best” for WOC

A Case Study:

Activities & Accomplishments • Coaching, feedback, support, advice • Exercising leadership • Meetings with senior management • Bringing visibility to WOC and their issues • Tracking successes, assessing environment, responding strategically

A Case Study: The Challenges • Leading and organizing WOCG • Keeping momentum and delivering • Securing committed sponsors • Involving/impacting LOBs and mid-level managers

• Communicating accomplishments • Surviving organizational changes

A Case Study: Simultaneity Issues? • What is the “value-added” of WOCG? • WOCG potentially divisive? • Have they accomplished enough? • Is dual agenda of driving change and developing WOC appropriate?

A Case Study: Recommendations • Re-affirm mission and prioritize goals:

• Key events for members • More involvement by senior sponsors • Develop and track indicators of change

• “Push” execution of action plans and leadership to regions

• Communicate achievements

Lessons Learned: Practice of Simultaneity • • • • • •

Share quantitative and qualitative data Establish strong links to senior management

Celebrate successes; publicize accomplishments Select top performers to lead

Work differences among WOC Create flexible, effective internal structures

Lessons Learned: Theory of Simultaneity • Different experience and standpoints • Different structural situation • Challenge the discourse of diversity • Embody complexity and simultaneity within and without

Challenges of Simultaneity:

Concluding Questions • How to influence the field with more complex models?

• How to communicate with organizational members?

• What would it mean for other groups/you to embrace simultaneity?

Thank you DR. EVANGELINA HOLVINO CHAOS MANAGEMENT, LTD. 178 Meetinghouse Lane BRATTLEBORO, VT 05301 802.257.5218 [email protected]

Dr. Holvino is also Affiliate Faculty Center for Gender in Organizations, Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts

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