We Blinded Thee with Science

Suppose you read an abstract that commenced with this preamble:

Previous research has shown that higher levels of diversity are associated with more trust, increased feelings of safety and social satisfaction, and heightened expectations that people can expect to be treated fairly and have the same opportunities as others in an organization.

* Diversity creates more trust than homogeneity.
* Diversity increases feelings of safety.
* Diversity increases feelings of fair treatment.

Wow. Just wow.

Though upon encountering statements so utterly at odds with observable reality, would you be inclined to believe the discrepancy arises from: 1) Infirmity of scientific rigor, 2) A result-oriented expedient cobbled together by agenda-driven social “scientists”, 3) Illumination of a remarkably counterintuitive insight?

I have my speculation, as I’m sure you have yours. Though let’s explore beyond the previous research into diversity’s serrated edge.

Studies 1 and 2 found that in-group representation — that is, seeing members of one’s own race included in the group — increased perceived diversity, even when the number of racial groups and number of racial minority group members was held constant. Asian Americans perceived more diversity in a group that included Whites and Asian Americans than a group that included Whites and African Americans. African Americans rated a group with Whites and African Americans as more diverse than one with Whites and Asian Americans.

This is why we deploy scientists to aid in clarifying the kaleidoscope world around us. “Diversity” is used as a proxy for “good” or “desirable condition.” All parties understand, at least implicitly, that to shoehorn one’s personal or group interests under the umbrella of that rubric is to effectively advance those positions. Thus it should be no surprise to anyone that Asians and Africans both view themselves as strong diversity contributors–and others not so much.

The research illustrates that people from different races may view the same team or organization and judge it differently in terms of whether or not it’s diverse. “Racial minority group members care whether or not members of their own race are part of a team. While the presence of other minority groups is better than no diversity at all, it’s not the same as having someone of your own race present,”

Tedious. So science reveals to us man’s post-prelapsarian inclination to advance his own interests over unlike others. Thanks for that. But what is this term, “minority group?” What is the objective definition of this? Whites in Detroit? Whites in Africa or Asia? Whites on Earth? All dramatic minorities, of course. But because of the exquisite sensitivity with which these researchers treat “minority” concerns, I am skeptical that my suppositions are shared.

And so if “minority” means something other than what dictionaries suggest it means…if it, like “diversity,” is merely another veiled proxy for otherwise quite unclothed racial advocacy, then what is “science” offering us here other than Jesse Jackson under tassels?

Someone should do research on that subject.

4 thoughts on “We Blinded Thee with Science

  1. “Previous research has shown that higher levels of diversity are associated with more trust, increased feelings of safety and social satisfaction, and heightened expectations that people can expect to be treated fairly and have the same opportunities as others in an organization.”

    The mere existence of the term “social capital” negates the above.

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