Volume 16
Issue S
Fall '18

The Paradox of Diversity

Written By: Ryan Muldoon


While there has been considerable literature that suggests that diverse groups are more capable at a variety of tasks than more homogenous ones, there has also been literature that suggests that diversity creates significant social discomfort. In light of this latter work, there have been proposals to create a broader “we” to smooth away the challenges posed by diversity. I argue that this approach is mistaken. Instead, I suggest that the benefits of diversity come about in part because of the discomfort that it creates, rather than in spite of it. If this is correct, then we must choose between two different models of society: a more rewarding but more complex diverse social environment, or a simpler, more homogenous, but less rewarding social environment.

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