Whiteness in Scotland: shame, belonging and diversity management in a Glasgow workplace

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This paper uses analysis of interview transcripts and notes from participant observation to explore white reactions to the introduction of diversity management in a large public sector workplace in Glasgow. The paper analyses white talk about racial equality in a social context where the shaming, exclusion and demonization of disadvantaged groups including migrants, asylum seekers and the poor have ensured that issues of entitlement and race are highly charged. It is suggested that in such contexts diversity management is being wielded as a new kind of civility by middle-class people invested in the objectification of poor whites. This represents a form of class conflict over belonging within the body of whiteness that risks reinforcing rather than redressing racial resentments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1371-1390
Number of pages20
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number8
Early online date15 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • public sector
  • racial inequality
  • diversity
  • Scotland


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