Enhancement of the term Diversity
by Manuel Balota (1999) Gisela-Gymnasium, M√ľnchen/Germany on 2018-01-20

There are three reasons that lead to the term diversity getting an enhancement in the last few years: general individualization tendencies, an increase in diversity due to migration and an increase in antidiscrimination discussions. A socio-scientific migration research, that faces the challenges of ethnic and religious diversity, opens up for a general society research.

Diversity in western society

Diversity is in great demand as a description of western society. Its enhancement connects with three mutual enhancing social processes:


Western societies pass through a long-term individualization process that speeded up in the 1960s. Traditional milieus shrink, families become smaller and more instable, professional careers become more unsafe and more instable and the media public sphere fragments. That causes modern forms of integration of society loses cohesiveness.


E.g. in Germany between the construction of the wall 1961 and the recruitment freeze 1973 the immigration of the guest workers dominated. After the recruitment freeze especially since the 1980s a gradual diversification of immigration is occurring. The big groups of immigrants from the Mediterranean countries have relatively lost their importance and smaller groups of immigrants from a great number of countries have gained importance. The only exception are the Turks who contrary to the general trend increased their relative share since the 1970s. There is also a process of generational differentiation from the descendants of immigrants.

Antidiscrimination discussions

Another social process that lead to the enhancement of the subject diversity is the rising importance of antidiscrimination discussions (for example women, old persons, homosexuals, disabled, religious and ethnic minorities). Far beyond the intended practical effects, antidiscrimination discussions contributed to a partial cultural and normative decentralization of the society. This means that it got more difficult to impose rules and behaviour standards that base on cultural norms of the majority group in society.