Archives quotidiennes :

Governing racial justice through standards and the birth of “White diversity”: A Foucauldian perspective

Milena Doytcheva (2020)

Journal of Marketing Management, 36, pp. 1338-1365.

Abstract. Drawing on a longitudinal qualitative approach to corporate diversity policies in France, based on more than 80 in-depth interviews (N = 86), this paper examines the paradox conveyed within these policies by the rise of ‘raceless’ diversity concepts. This is what I term White diversity, exploring its construction and appropriation in the light of technologies of normalisation, referred to in English as standards. Building on a Foucauldian approach to normalisation, the paper engages with the case study of the French Diversity Label. It explores the ways in which market-based mechanisms of regulation have shaped the management of race difference. It demonstrates in particular how normalising antidiscrimination through voluntary social certification has contributed to upholding whiteness in organisations.

Extract. “Yet, these developments in framing diversity at the beginning of the 21st century should be recast within a broader tendency of late neoliberal capitalism towards ‘governing by standards’ – technical rather than legal (Thévenot, 1997, 2009; see also Guthman, 2007; Brown & Getz, 2008). According to Thévenot, at the turn of the century, traditional normativity, ensured by national law and the judiciary underwent a major change. With the overwhelming position granted to market co-ordination, market mechanisms are expected to inscribe into the ‘certified properties of things’ concerns for fundamental goods, such as safety, health, the environment, and now racial justice and equal opportunity.”

Link to the article