A Research Companion
Edited by Mustafa F. Özbilgin and Jawad Syed
Chapter 9: Reflections on Difference: Women, Islamic Feminism and Development in the Middle East
Beverly Dawn Metcalfe Introduction The subject of diversity has a long heritage in organization and human resource (HR) development, but debates and case studies are predominantly drawn from Western or highly developed regions. Significantly, diversity theorists have highlighted how notions of difference are multilayered and fluid and that marginalization and the production of inequalities are highly variable (for example, Acker, 2005, 2006; Metcalfe and Afanassieva, 2005; Verloo, 2006). There is limited scholarship that addresses the complexities of difference and diversity in Asian human resource management (HRM) and development (exception, Cooke, 2005). The limited literature is due in part to the fact that HRM as a field of study in developing regions in Asia, Africa and Latin America is still emerging. Another reason is the fact that diversity agendas are not named or articulated in societal and organization development discourses. Rather, it is true to say that diversity dialogues are conditioned by the socio-cultural and political context of diversity and difference. The consequence of this is that diversity agendas, priorities at government level and development strategic planning are globally variable and change in accordance to the geo-political, social and economic terrain one is investigating. Thus, mapping diversity onto a global map one will discern that there are dominant differences, be it gender, race, sexuality and so forth that have shaped diversity writings and development management policy. This may not necessarily be capturing a total picture of the complexity of the intersections of difference and diversity, but provides insights into how inequalities...
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