Diversity at Workplace and in Education

  • Tanmoy BhattacharyaEmail author
Part of the Dynamics of Asian Development book series (DAD)


There is a potential conflict between the value of diversity at workplace—a concept touted and encouraged since the mid-1990s in America among private business/corporates—and the findings of the rights-based disability movement, namely (i) a person with disability (PwD) does not need charity, and (ii) disability is not a spectacle. A PwD represents in some sense the “spectacle of diversity” to an extreme in the mainstream unconscious imagination: if a prospective employer encourages hiring an employee with disability solely for the reason of diversity, then there is a problem. However, there ought to be some value to a practical implementation of a policy; i.e., if an organization wishes to implement a policy that encourages diversity in the workplace/institution, it ought to be considered an affirmative action. This is equally true of any possible future attempt at designing an instrument to ‘implement’ a theoretical perspective, be it from within the humanities or the social sciences; that is, actually hiring/admitting people as per a policy requirement may eventually lead to designing of an “instrument” or a set of algorithms, or a programme, to follow in cases of any such implementations. Nonetheless, designing instruments can address some of the issues which are often projected as problems which differentiate the social sciences from the humanities, since it has been argued that “designing” or “instrumentation” per se leads to a mechanistic world where human values are neglected—a bone of contention between the humanities and social sciences. A return to humanistic studies seems to be the only sure way of arriving at the truth. This is true in education as well as in employment, where the mere reportage of managers’/teachers’ or employees’/students’ satisfaction over employing PwDs and ignoring the axis of domination to investigate such status of employment, i.e. whether the person was employed/admitted “only” because of his/her disability to add to the so-called spectacle for the institute or whether because the organization truly believed in doing a good thing like diversity, does not constitute an analysis. This chapter thus critically examines the construction of diversity at workplace and in education with a view to comprehending the underlying notions.


Diversity Social Capital Centring Employment Inclusion 


  1. Ali, M., Schur, L., & Blanck, P. (2011). What types of jobs do people with disabilities want? Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 21, 199–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen, A. G. (2010). A critical race theory analysis of the disproportionate representation of Blacks and males participating in Florida’s special education programmes (Doctoral dissertation). Boca Raton, FL: Florida Atlantic University.Google Scholar
  3. Arneil, B. (2006). Diverse communities: The problem with social capital. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bhattacharya, T. (2010a). Re-examining issues of inclusion in education. Economic and Political Weekly, XLV(16):18–25.Google Scholar
  5. Bhattacharya, T. (2010b). Education of students with disabilities: An evaluation of the Indian educational policies. Paper presented at the international EDICT 2010 (enabling access to education through ICT) conference.Google Scholar
  6. Bhattacharya, T. (2012). Diversity at workplace and in education. Paper presented at interrogating disability: Theory and practice conference held at the Institute of Development Studies Kolkata, September 27–29.Google Scholar
  7. Bhattacharya, T. (2014). Are we all alike: Questioning the pathologies of the normate. Paper presented at the inequalities in India conference at the University of Delhi, 27–29 November.Google Scholar
  8. Bhattacharya, T., & Hidam, G. S. (2011). Space-machine. In Proceedings of Episteme 4, international conference to review research on science, technology and mathematics education. Mumbai: Homi Bhaba Centre for Science.Google Scholar
  9. Biklen, D. (2005). Autism and the myth of the person alone. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Blanchett, W. (2006). Disproportional representation of African America students in special education: Acknowledging the role of White privilege and racism. Educational Researcher, 35(6), 24–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In J. G. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp. 241–258). Slough: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  12. Burkhauser, R. V., Daly, M. C., & Houtenville, A. J. (2001). How working age people with disabilities fared over the 1990s business cycle. In P. Budetti, R. V. Burkhauser, J. Gregory, & H. A. Hunt (Eds.), Ensuring health and income security for an aging workforce (pp. 291–346). Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.Google Scholar
  13. Coleman, J. S. (1990). Foundations of social theory. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Coser, L. (1978). American trends. In T. Bottomore, & P. Nisbet (Eds.), A history of biography studies, 6(1), 85–94.Google Scholar
  15. Danermark, B., & Gellerstedt, C. (2010). Social justice: Redistribution and recognition—A non-reductionist perspective on disability. Disability and Society, 19(4), 339–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Davis, J. (1981). Sociological construction of deviance: Perspectives and issues in the Field. Dubuqu: William C. Brown.Google Scholar
  17. EdCIL (India) Ltd., & SRI. (2014). National sample survey estimation of out-of-school children in the age 6–13 in India, Draft Report.Google Scholar
  18. Erevelles, N. (2005). Rewriting critical pedagogy from the periphery. In S. Gabel (Ed.), Disability studies in education: Readings in theory and method (pp. 65–83). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  19. Ferri, B. A. (2008). Doing a (dis)service: Reimagining special education from a disability studies perspective. In W. Ayers, T. Quinn, & D. Stovall (Eds.), The handbook of social justice in education. Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  20. Fraser, N. (2000). Rethinking recognition. New Left Review, 3, 107–120.Google Scholar
  21. Ghai, A. (2015). Rethinking disability in India. New Delhi: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Giddens, A. (1986). The constitution of society. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  23. Gilman, S. L. (1985). Difference and pathology: Stereotypes of sexuality, race, and madness. New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Hauser, M. D., Chomsky, N., & Fitch, T. W. (2002). The faculty of language: What is it, who has it, and how did it evolve? Science, 298, 1569–1579.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hodkinson, A. (2012). Illusionary inclusion—What went wrong with New Labour’s landmark educational policy? British Journal of Special Education, 39(1), 4–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. ILO. (2010). Disability in the workplace: Company practices (Working Paper No 3). Geneva: Bureau for Employers’ Activities and Skills and Employability Department.Google Scholar
  27. Kaye, H. S., Jans, L. H., & Jones, E. C. (2011). Why don’t employers hire and retain workers with disabilities? Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 21, 526–536.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kaye, S. H. (2009). Stuck at the bottom rung: Occupational characteristics of workers with disability. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 19, 115–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Keller, E. F. (1985/1995). Reflections on gender and science. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Kregel, J. (1999). Why it pays to hire workers with developmental disabilities. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 14(3), 130–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Krishna, A., & Uphoff, N. (1999). Mapping and measuring social capital: A conceptual and empirical study of collective action for conserving and developing watersheds in Rajasthan, India. Social capital initiative (Working Paper No. 13). Washington, D.C.: World Bank.Google Scholar
  32. Kudlick, C. J. (2001). The outlook of the problem and the problem with the Outlook. In P. Longmore & L. Umansky (Eds.), The new disability history: American perspectives (pp. 187–213). New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Kymlicka, W. (1992). Multicultural citizenship: A liberal theory of minority rights. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Lazer, D., Pentland, A., Adamic, L., Aral, S., Barabási, A.-L., Brewer, D., et al. (2009). Computational social science. Science, 323, 721–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lévi-Strauss, C. (1966). The savage mind. London: Weidenfeld.Google Scholar
  36. Linton, S. (1998). Claiming disability: Knowledge and identity. New York and London: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Lundberg, G. A. (1926). Case work and the statistical method. Social Forces, 5, 61–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Massey, D. S., Rothwell, J., & Domina, T. (2009). The changing bases of segregation in the United States. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 626, 74–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Matza, D. (1969). Becoming deviant. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  40. McCagg, W. O., & Siegelbaum, L. (1989). Introduction. In The disabled in the Soviet Union: Past and present, theory and practice. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  41. Ministry of Education. (1962). Report of the University Education Commission (December 1948–August 1949), Publication No. 606. New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
  42. Mitra, S., & Sambamoorthi, U. (2006). Employment of PWDs: Evidence from the National Sample Survey. Economic and Political Weekly, January 21; 41(3), 199–203.Google Scholar
  43. Morris, D. B. (1991). The culture of pain. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  44. Murphy, J., & Newlon, B. (1987). Loneliness and the mainstreamed hearing-impaired college student. American Annals of the Deaf, 132, 21–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. NCERT. (2013). Evaluation of the implementation of the scheme IEDSS in India. New Delhi: NCERT.Google Scholar
  46. NCPEDP. (1999). Employment practices of the corporate sector. Delhi: NCPEDP.Google Scholar
  47. Norwich, B. (2008). What future for special schools and inclusion? Conceptual and professional perspectives. British Journal of Special Education, 35(3), 136–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. O’Keefe, P. (2009). People with disabilities in India: From commitments to outcomes. Washington, DC: World Bank.
  49. Parent, W., Kregel, J., & Johnson, A. (1996). Consumer satisfaction: A survey of individuals with disabilities who receive supported employment services. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilites, 11, 207–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Piers, E. V., & Harris, D. B. (1969). Manual for Piers-Harris children’s self-concept scale (The way I feel about myself). Nashville, Tennessee: Counsellor Recordings & Tests.Google Scholar
  51. Plummer, K. (2001). Documents of life 2. London, New Delhi: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Touchstone.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Radford, J. P. (1994). Intellectual disability and the heritage of modernity. In M. H. Rioux, & M. Bach (Eds.), Disability is not measles: New research paradigms in disability. Institut Roeher: North York, Ontario.Google Scholar
  54. Rudenstine, N. L. (2001). Student diversity and higher learning. In G. Orfield (Ed.), Diversity challenged: Evidence of the impact of affirmative action (pp. 31–48). Cambridge, UK: Harvard Education.Google Scholar
  55. Rungta, S. K. (2004). Training and employment of PWDs: India 2002. International Labour Organization: Ability Asia Country Study Series.Google Scholar
  56. Shafer, M., Kregel, J., Banks, P. D., & Hill, M. (1988). What does the boss think? An analysis of employer evaluations of workers with mental retardation. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 9, 377–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Snodgrass, J. (1976). Clifford R. Shaw and Henry D. McKay: Chicago criminologists. British Journal of Criminology, 16, 1–19.Google Scholar
  58. Stouffer, S. A. (1930). Experimental comparison of statistical and case history methods in attitude research. Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  59. Supalla, T. (1986). The classifier system in American sign language. In Collette Craig (Ed.), Noun classes and categorization. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Google Scholar
  60. Taylor, C. (1994). The politics of recognition. In A. Gutman (Ed.), Multiculturalism: Examining the politics of recognition (pp. 25–73). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  61. Thomas, J. (1983). Toward a critical ethnography: A reexamination of the Chicago legacy. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 11(4), 477–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Thomas, G., & Vaughn, M. (2004). Inclusive education: A reader. Maidenhead: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Winzer, M. A. (1993). The history of special education: From isolation to integration. Washington, DC: Gallauded University Press.Google Scholar
  64. Zborowski, M. (1960). People in pain. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  65. Žižek, S. (2009). In defense of lost causes. London: Verso.Google Scholar

Other Sources

  1. Census of India. (2001). Registrar General of India ( Scholar
  2. Census of India. (2011). Registrar General of India ( Scholar
  3. Department of School Education and Literacy, Annual Reports 2005–06; 2012–13; 2013–14; 2014–15, Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India.Google Scholar
  4. Directorate General of Employment & Training. (2004). National classification of occupations, Ministry of Labour, Government of India.Google Scholar
  5. Education of Children with Special Needs (Position Paper of National Focus Group). (2006). National Council of Educational Research and Training.Google Scholar
  6. International Labour Organization (ILO). (1983). Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) Convention (No. 159),
  7. Ministry of Human Resource Development. (2005). Inclusion in Education of Children and Youth with Disability, Government of India.Google Scholar
  8. National Policy for Persons with Disabilities. (2006). No. 3-1/1993-DD.III, Government of India, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.Google Scholar
  9. Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act. (1995). Ministry of Human Resources and Development, Government of India.Google Scholar
  10. Survey of Employment of Americans with Disabilities. (2010, October). Conducted by Harris initiative for Kessler Foundation and National Organization on Disability. New York, NY: Harris Interactive.
  11. The Central Civil Services (Classification, Control, and Appeal) Rules. (1965).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Advanced Studies in LinguisticsUniversity of DelhiNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations