Understanding the Interface of Diversity and Political Tensions in the Context of Divided Societies: A Multifocal Perspective of Social Psychology and Critical Theory
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This chapter juxtaposes and interfaces social psychological conceptual frameworks and critical sociological theories. The essentialist school of thought focuses on universal individual- and group-level limitations in processing the social world. By contrast, the critical theory underscores the construction of intergroup power relations, controlled through discourse by dominant social actors. These social construction processes privilege the dominant social forces, while marginalising other social players. Unlike the essentialist tradition, the critical approach emphasises the influence of the specific context of everyday practice on the development of social relations. This chapter opens a dialogue between the two perspectives in an attempt to enlist their joint potential for illuminating diversity management in places and times of tensions.
KeywordsDiversity Political tensions Social psychology Essentialist approach Critical approach Divided society
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