The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality

Front Cover
Macmillan, Jul 24, 2007 - Political Science - 243 pages
32 Reviews
“A withering examination of how the celebration of cultural and ethnic difference obscures our yawning economic divide . . . This is a refreshing, angry, and important book.” —The Atlantic Monthly Acclaimed as “eloquent” (Chicago Tribune), “cogent” (The New Yorker), and “impossible to disagree with” (The Washington Post); excoriated as a “wildly implausible” product of “the ‘shock and awe’ school of political argument” (Slate), The Trouble with Diversity argues that our enthusiastic celebration of “difference” masks our neglect of the difference that really matters—the one between rich and poor. A magnificent skewer of pieties, Walter Benn Michaels takes on the many manifestations of our devotion—from affirmative action, to the worship of multiculturalism, to the obsession with heritage and identity—demonstrating that diversity offers a false vision of social justice, one that conveniently costs us nothing. In a daring break with both the left and the right, he calls for less attention to the illusory distinction of culture and more attention to the real discrepancies of class and wealth.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
8
4 stars
8
3 stars
10
2 stars
4
1 star
2

Review: The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality

User Review  - April - Goodreads

The idea of this was more thought provoking than the book. He played amateur political theorist, sociologist, and religious scholar but it never came back to the central idea that we overlook inequality to exalt identity. Read full review

Review: The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality

User Review  - Todd Stockslager - Goodreads

Short and cogent argument that the current "neoliberal" emphasis on diversity (of race, culture, language, or religion) devalues economic equality and real political progress. "Celebrating diversity ... Read full review

All 13 reviews »

Contents

Introduction
1
The Trouble with Race
21
Our Favorite Victims
50
Richer Not Better
80
Just and Unjust Rewards
111
Who Are We? Why Should We Care?
141
The Good News
171
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2007)


Walter Benn Michaels is a professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “One of the most influential Americanists of his generation” (The Chronicle of Higher Education), he is the author of Our America and has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, The Boston Globe, and n+1. He lives in Chicago.

Bibliographic information