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Managing ethnocultural and ‘racial’ diversity in sport: Obstacles and opportunities

Diversity involves coming to terms with alterity (otherness) and negotiating inclusion (togetherness). That goal is more likely, philosopher Emmanuel Levinas argues, when people usually separated – socially culturally, politically, economically geographically – are brought together in consensual face-to-face contact and in social contexts where equitable interpersonal co-operation and group cohesion are fostered (Burggraeve, 2002, 2008). Such a quest for consensus about diversity and mutuality, as opposed to discordance through disdain for difference (Grillo, 2007), is a challenge (but also an opportunity) in a range of normative environments, such as business, education and sport (Kostogriz & Doecke, 2007; Lim, 2007; Sykes, 2006). In an overarching sense, the management of diversity and the policies that underpin mutuality are arguably contributions to cosmopolitanism, which Vertovec and Cohen (2002, p. 4) argue incorporates ‘variously complex repertoires of allegiance, identity and interest’. They conclude that cosmopolitanism, as an applied philosophical position, ‘seems to offer a mode of managing cultural and political multiplicities’ (2002, p. 4). (PUBLICATION ABSTRACT)