Theorizing Diversity: Inclusion and Exclusion in Contemporary Society
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleSOW-VSB9008
Credits (ECTS)5
CategoryBA (Bachelor)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Social Sciences; Gender Studies;
dr. M.M. Naezer
Other course modules lecturer
dr. M.M. Naezer
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. M.M. Naezer
Other course modules lecturer
dr. M.M. Naezer
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2021
PER3  (31/01/2022 to 08/04/2022)
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksIf you are unable to register yourself, please contact Laura Dobosch, email:
Registration using OSIRISNo
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
After completing this course, you will:
  • have knowledge about the development of the contemporary diversity discourse and different concepts of diversity/difference;
  • be able to analyze the inclusion and exclusion effects of ‘making a difference’;
  • understand the complexity and ambiguity that accompany a focus on differences between and among groups;
  • apply your knowledge of both theories of diversity/differences and inclusion/exclusion to a specific context (world of work);
  • increase your sensitivity towards particularly stigmatized but nevertheless under-researched groups.
The notion of ‘diversity’ has become a highly controversial buzzword that is relevant in both the academic and public sphere. Some people see it as an opportunity to approach differences as a potential instead of a ‘problem’ that needs to be fixed. Others, however, criticize that the diversity rhetoric privileges particular groups (e.g. highly qualified women or migrant key employees) and neglects others, who seem not as easily compatible with profit maximization (e.g. disabled people, refugees). Simultaneously, in several western countries nationalistic discourses are gaining strength that question – once again – the legitimacy of heterogeneous populations regarding their composition of gender-related, cultural, religious or sexual norms and values. Whatever stance is taken, the notion of diversity represents a ‘hot topic’ that needs to be treated with academic rigour in terms of its conceptual opportunities and limitations as well as its ramifications in practical contexts.

Against this background, the course engages with the ‘diversity turn’ at three levels: First, we explore the history and development of the contemporary diversity discourse and analyze different concepts of diversity and its relation to other theories of difference (e.g. intersectionality). Second, we engage with theories of inclusion and exclusion that are used as guidance for mapping out ‘which differences actually make a difference’. Third, we apply this knowledge about concepts of diversity/differences as well as about theories of inclusion and exclusion to the context of the world of work. By looking at particularly marginalized or disadvantaged groups (e.g. employees marked as disabled, fat or transgender) in labour relations, the students deal in depth with the complexity of the relationship between differences and in-/equalities.

Presumed foreknowledge

Test information

If you are unable to register yourself, please contact Laura Dobosch, email:
Assumed previous knowledge
At least a full year of prior study in the social sciences or humanities is recommended.

Required materials
To be announced
A selection of articles to be provided at the beginning of the course.

Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Intensive seminars; students are expected to participate actively in the discussions, and to carry out weekly assignments.

Sustainability certificate
Attendance MandatoryYes

Attendance MandatoryYes

Test weight1
Test typePaper
OpportunitiesBlock PER3, Block PER4

Test weight1
Test typeAssignment
OpportunitiesBlock PER3, Block PER4