Melissa Steyn

South African society has undergone a remarkable political and legal transformation since 1994, moving from apartheid towards a democratic society which enshrines the rights of diversity. However, deep social divisions and inequalities persist. Twelve case studies were conducted as part of the DEISA research programme into diversity and equity transformation in South African organisations. The concept of Critical Diversity Literacy (CDL)was useful to judge the organisations for their disposition towards diversity, and the extent of their achieved transformation. The CDL model proposed here is a conceptual tool for teaching and implementing transformation towards more socially just approaches to workplace diversity, even in complex postcolonial contexts.

Acknowledgments: The author wishes to acknowledge the funding of SANPAD and the National Research Foundation, South Africa. The members of the DEISA research team are also acknowledged: Lize Booysen, Philomena Essed, Claire Kelly, Stella Nkomo, Crain Soudien.

PhD. Melissa Steyn is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of Intercultural and Diversity Studies at University of Cape Town; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Cite this article:
Steyn Melissa. Critical Diversity Literacy: Diversity Awareness in Twelve South African Organisations. Innovative Issues and Approaches in Social Sciences, vol.3, no.3:50-82, DOI:

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