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Watching out for Self-Righteousness Within: A CBS Account of Diversity and the Promotion of Diversity

Akihiko Masuda, Ph.D.

Date Recorded

Presented as a ACBS Student SIG sponsored webinar in 2017

A CBS perspective of diversity states that even our genuine efforts to promote diversity unintentionally and paradoxically causes divisions among us. This is in part because our language and cognitive processes inherently promotes exclusion and division (e.g., “us vs. them,” “right vs. wrong”). One major product of our language and cognition is the sense of “self-righteousness.” The present webinar highlights our own self-righteousness, one major project of our language and cognitive process, in the context of diversity issues (e.g., protest, multicultural training), and discusses how it may paradoxically contribute to division among us further. More specifically, I will argue that when self-righteousness meets our conventional problem-solving agenda in the context of diversity, we tend to identify enemies to defeat, and direct our efforts to eliminate and exclude them. The embracement of diversity achieved by these efforts may not be so inclusive and it may contradict the value of diversity at a fundamental level. The webinar also presents a way to promote diversity that is inclusive to everyone, including our enemies.

We invite you to click here to make a donation (suggested $20, but any amount is most appreciated) to the Diversity Committee. All and any donations given during this webinar will be used to help students and early career professionals to attend the ACBS conference in 2018. We thank you in advance for your generosity. Please note that donations to the Diversity Committee are not tax deductible according to USA tax law.


56 minutes