ERIC Number: ED348702
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-1
Reference Count: N/A
In Search of a Cosmopolitan Communicator: Codes of Multicultural Diversity Training.
Sanchez, RosaBelia; Porter, W. Marc
Language is not to be considered neutral for it works to establish privileged interpretations of reality that assume the illusion of a shared and natural reality. This study examined how consultants specializing in multicultural organizational interventions construct a particular meaning of "diversity" in their responses to a heterogeneous workforce. Subjects were six human resource development (HRD) consultants selected from three different chapters of the American Society for Training and Development, all between 40 and 50 years old. Individual interviews lasted from 45 to 90 minutes and were audiotaped and later transcribed for textual analysis. W. B. Pearce's conception of a "cosmopolitan communicator" (understanding another by making the other's social reality a part of the communicator's own lived experience) and a semiotic framework were used to analyze the interview data. Results indicated that two primary characters emerged from the texts of diversity consultants: the HRD professional and the trainee. Actions for diversity trainers most often were signified using terms representing the goals or desired outcomes of an intervention. The symbolic codes operate by unfolding narratives through the setting apart of binary oppositions--such as affirmative action/equal employment opportunity (AA/EEO) versus diversity programs, equality versus equity, and dominant versus subordinate cultures. The HRD professionals work as developers of moral good. Findings suggest how the language of diversity and AA/EEO produce two separate, but fundamentally related, perspectives of workplace discrimination. (Twenty-four references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Context; Consultant Role; Workforce 2000
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (77th, Atlanta, GA, October 31-November 3, 1991).