ESRC Funded Seminar Series Public Policy, Equality and Diversity in the Context of Devolution Seminar 3: Mainstreaming equality and diversity in particular settings and contexts
The challenges of multi-culturalism in the UK Peter Tatchell
Cultural tensions in the education of Gypsies/Travellers Gwynedd Lloyd University of Edinburgh
Education and Gypsies/ Travellers- an ambivalent, often hostile relationship • Gypsies/Travellers in the UK • Research • Policy developments and tensions • A complex ethical and social issue: should we encourage participation in schooling for G/Ts?
Gypsies and Travellers • Gypsies/Travellers • Occupational Travellers • New (age) Travellers
Gypsies/Travellers • English Gypsies • Scottish Gypsy Travellers • Irish Travellers • European Roma: established communities eg Hungarian Coppersmiths, recent refugees from Eastern Europe • Others
Scottish Gypsy Travellers • Diversity of experience, opinion • Need to acknowledge cultural difference without stereotyping • Issue of ethnicity
The last respectable form of racism • Accommodation • Health • Widespread racist abuse and violence
Key research • Lloyd and Stead (2000, 2001) • Padfield and Jordan • Padfield(2004) • Derrington and Kendall (2003) • Bhopal (2004)
Experience of schooling • Many Gypsy/Traveller children attend school and have positive experiences. Some also participate in higher education. • However official statistics and research still identify major issues of: attendance, attainment, exclusion and racist bullying. • Institutional racism
Educational issues • Patterns of attendance, absence • Lack of continuity of work, interrupted learning • Inconsistent/often inadequate support • Problems with multiple registration • Failure to pass on records • Children identified inappropriately with SEN
Resources, materials inappropriate to Gypsy/Traveller culture • Racist bullying, name-calling, scapegoating • Gypsy/Traveller youth having to deny their own cultural identity • A curriculum that lacks relevance
Fears of many parents about aspects of secondary school curricula, eg sex, drug education • Lack of understanding by school staff of the educational and other challenges presented by a mobile lifestyle in the 21st century • Fear of ‘loss’ of children
Policy/practice developments • RRAA 2000 • DfES - guidelines; data collection • SEED -guidance: data collection • HMIES- self evaluation guide
Does schooling inevitably destroy minority culture Is education necessary to survive?
Organisation Carescapes: Policies, Practices and Equality in Business Linda McKie Glasgow Caledonian University and Centre for Research on Families & Relationships
Introduction • Aim of seminar series • How policies work in practice & ‘trade-offs’ for different groups • Women in food retail • Flexible, local, low paid • Plethora of legislation, policies & guidelines • ‘New’ policies – ‘Old’ issues
Organisation Carescapes • Critical examination of • Formal policies; implementation & practices; care in / out of companies; cultures of care • Care • Multi-faceted term • Culture • Beliefs, symbolic & practical representation through range of activities
Organisation Carescapes (2) • Caringscapes • posits that people plot routes through a changing, multi-dimensional terrain that comprises experience & anticipation of care • Organisation carescapes • not static: thus planned ‘routes’ (policies and practices) must sometimes be changed or amended in response to shifts in public policies, the actions of employers or, in the case of family life, personal events such as the arrival of a first or subsequent child.
Work-life Balance in the Scottish Food Retail Sector • European Social Fund • 21 interviews & 246 questionnaire • Part-time, 16-60+, range of caring responsibilities • Location, availability, flexibility • Dynamic nature of responsibilities
Work-life Balance in the Scottish Food Retail Sector (2) • Sudden / unexpected demands • Ad hoc, one to one basis, ‘not take advantage’ of good will • Supervisors; pivotal role in maintaining staff levels during opening hours • Limited knowledge of & recourse to policies
Conclusions • Women making a trade off between poorly paid, low skill jobs & care • ‘Care-employment’ ceiling • Organisation carescape • ‘Map’ is one of immediate & short term issues take precedence • New policies – little impact • Old gendered issues – still with us
Negotiating Equity in HEIs: A Case-Study Analysis of Policies and Staff Experiences Louise Morley University of Sussex
Aims • to explore staff experiences of equity issues and institutional equity policies. • to conduct a critical discourse analysis of equity policies in the six institutions • to gather the views of senior manager-academics and administrators on their institutional equality policies, and how these relate to national policies. • to identify challenges, inadequacies, examples of good practice, and constraints/incentives in relation to equity policies at institutional and sector level.
Research Methods • Individual (n=60) and focus group (n=25) interviews with staff including manual, clerical, technical, secretarial and administrative support staff, senior manager-academics and administrators, in six contrasting institutions in the UK. • Participants from different occupational backgrounds and socio-cultural groups paying attention also to gender, sexual orientation, ‘race’/ethnicity, disability, age and religion. • Critical incident logs. • Critical discourse analysis of equality policies (taken from the websites of the six institutions).
Policy Context • European Commission framework for equal treatment in the Employment Directive of 2000. • Mainstreaming • Anti-discriminatory legislation in the UK e.g. RRAA 2000; DDA, 2005. • Project found little evidence of widespread knowledge of the remit of current legislation and directives.
Slowness of Change • In their study of the representation of 'ethnic minority' groups in 53 university prospectuses in the academy, Jewson et al. (1991) concluded that four fifths of universities did not offer any sort of equal opportunities statement, either explicit or implicit, in their prospectus (Jewson, Mason et al. 1991). • UK universities are now required by their funding bodies to have policies on a wide range of inequalities for both students and staff and students and the latter must also be incorporated in wider human resource and reward strategies.
Policy as Purposive Communication/ Performative Speech Act • The equal opportunities policy statement constitutes the institution’s intervention to (re)shape, regulate and codify: • cultural norms • modes of conduct • the distribution of opportunities within the institution.
Policy statements inhabited organisational, legal, moral and economic discourses. • The legislative, the memorandum and the promotional genres. • Differential economy of attention and emphasis. • Disability equality often incorporated into the promotional student section. • All statements of the six case-study institutions are orientated towards the future. • Legal underpinnings rarely invoked. • Absence of the lexicon of rights and entitlements • Concepts included inclusivity, diversity, social justice, anti-discrimination. • Online visibility and scope of the policies varied considerably. • No standard conception of what needs to be publicised.
Multiple Readings • Gulf between the views of staff in the six institutions and the perceptions of their senior managers. • Senior managers often focused on quantitative change i.e. composition of the workforce. • Staff discussed qualitative change i.e. organisational culture. • Equity understood as redistributional and recognitional. • Some focus on implementation strategies i.e. ‘what works’ and ‘best practice’. • Others focus on recognitional paradigm and celebration of differences.
Shared Visions? • What is to be equalised when we call for equality? (Sen, 1992) • Who benefits from equality policies? • Is there a collective dimension or shared understandings of equity and diversity?
Barriers to Equality • Myth of Meritocracy. • Meritocracy seen as integrative and equalising. • Universities, as liberal institutions, were intrinsically concerned with justice and fairness.
Micropolitics • Evidence from staff that discrimination was often subtle, quixotic and not always reported or detected by others. • Power relayed via everyday practices was notoriously difficult to challenge. • Little mention of explicit offensive behaviour and comments, or other behaviour directly targeted at personal attributes. • Perceived discrimination due to ethnicity, gender disability, sexual orientation or age were likely to be perceived as embedded in managerial/professional decisions about recruitment, promotion, workloads and exclusions.
Power Relations • Bullying, harassment and unfair treatment mainly reported by support staff. • Fears of loss of promotion prospects, stigmatisation, uncomfortable social relations, backlash, victimisation and protection of the powerful. • Power relations that offer the preconditions for discrimination construct climate for grievances.
Formal Complaints: Danger and Loss The problem is that all staff do not feel that they can lodge grievance without basically threatening their own livelihood. (Support staff trade union representative) ...we’ve got grievance procedures, harassment, all these things come out, they all sound good, but you try and take a grievance or … I’m ready to speak against a head of department - it just doesn’t work, the rules are not the same. It’s okay going down the way. If you try going up the way to take on your head of department, you’ll find the University will guard them. (Manual staff trade union representative)
Policy as Codification of Values • All 6 institutions have complaint and grievance procedural mechanisms accessible online. • Detailed definitions of what constitutes or might constitute a grievance as ground for lodging a complaint. • The codified rules and policies on complaints and grievances are thought by some to constitute a deterrent to staff disposed to engage in harassing, bullying or discriminatory practices.
Policy as New Managerialist Noise • Informants reported how equality was becoming: • depoliticised/ neutralised • enforced by people with no value commitment or activist experience • associated not with radical social movements, but with neo-liberal modes of control and governance.
Performing Equality • I can give you an example of somebody that was given a post of equal opportunities officer for a School who was the biggest bully in the school. She could have people in tears. And yet she was an equal opportunities officer. And that’s the kind of thing … you know there’s no monitoring of who it is that’s taking on these roles (Member of support staff). • They have an occupational health advisor who has brought two people with disabilities to tears in the last six months. She doesn’t understand disability basically (Academic) • Now on sex equality last year there was a round of promotions to principal lecturer and, it was noted that I think the proportion of women who applied, as compared to the proportion of women employed, and the proportion of women I think, was one out of six appointees. And the personnel office simply in their report noted the numbers. But we tried to push them to think about what might they do about it but they were quite content to just note the disparity between the number of women employed in the academic role and the outcome of this round (Academic trade union representative).
Quality and Equality • Quality discourses and practices often overlook equality. • Some convergence around student services/ customer care. • Student opinion is used as a performance indicator. • Student evaluations are now in the public domain. • RAE concerns over-ride equal opportunities. • Tension: how to monitor equality without subsuming it into the audit culture.
Students, not staff • Perception from staff that policies had only been applied to students. • The audit culture seen as main policy driver. • Equity and Diversity constructed as marketing devices. • Depoliticisation of the staff equality agenda in higher education.
Equality as Defensive Delivery They’re organising all these equality policies to cover their backs because they’ve got people’s kids here as students and they need to have all these policies in place. They don’t give a toss about the staff. The policies are nothing to do with us, they don’t think that we need to be equal, they’re doing equalities for the students (Technician).
Equality as Risk Reduction • Complex interplay between: • social inclusion • risk reduction • notion of HEIs having a contract with students.
Disability • SENDA perceived as by informants as that students with disabilities may receive more help and support than staff with a declared disability. • The University welcomes applications from students with disabilities and dyslexia and has been actively working to improve access and support since 1990. If you have a disability, a special need or dyslexia this Statement is intended to help you decide if we offer the support you need to study here successfully (Extract from a HEI equality policy)
Policy Paradoxes • Policies set up to challenge one group's disadvantages can sometimes paradoxically reinforce discrimination against another group. • Different structures of inequality are rarely intersected. • Contradictory forms of recognition politics. • The legal framework does not provide for cases where conflicting validity claims require that the law come down, at least in theory, on one or the other side of the fence.
Family- friendly policies reinforcing heteronormativity. A lesbian professor notes: Instead of talking about family friendly policies you talk about creating a working environment that respects all of people's care commitments, whether their care commitments are for children, for husbands, wives or same sex sexual partners or friends, or elderly relatives or, you know, dogs or cats or whatever but that respect for diverse experiences, and I think that can be promoted and that needs to be done by universities, but actually the problem is much wider than universities.
Irreconcilable Politics? (As) a committed evangelical Christian …(I) have views about the appropriateness of certain forms of sexual behaviour, within exactly the same department as me, we were based in the same room, a very large room, so lots of people within the office, (she) was an openly practising lesbian … When the member of staff in question came back from paternity leave … she was terribly excited and she wanted to do exactly what any (other) colleague in a heterosexual relationship would want to do, go and talk about it. She did so within the context of our open office and her conversation made me feel excruciatingly uncomfortable because I didn’t know how to respond, however if I had in any way represented my concerns and my difficulty she would have then felt excruciatingly uncomfortable because she would have felt that this was something she wanted to share with her colleagues and she couldn’t (Member of support staff).
Equality as Cultural Diversity • I became a Reader in 2003 and so I'm very young to be at that senior position. I'm a woman, I'm a black woman, so I'm an acceptable and a very impressive kind of public face for the university. So I'm frequently approached by the vice chancellor explicitly to represent the university for media purposes...I think I'm not so naive to not be aware of, for television, how symbolically forceful it would be to have my face kind of representing. (Academic)