A Middle-voiced Understanding of Diversity

By Philippe Eberhard and Xiao-lei Wang.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper proposes a middle-voiced approach to diversity. The middle voice is an innovative way of thinking beyond the active/passive opposition. Shifting the focus from the subject/object relation to the location of the subject within his or her actions, it leads to an involved rather than dominating or dominated self-understanding. Cultural diversity presents a variety of challenges. Alien ways and attitudes cross one’s path and litter it with question marks. Whether one is confronted with a clerk’s approximate language or the situation of altered landmarks like minarets in Switzerland, one’s reaction depends on how one understands the other and oneself. Medial thinking does not deny the tensions diversity entails, but it helps defuse them by stressing locality instead of identity. The middle voice asks, “Where are we?” This question does not imply that if the other appears outlandish he or she is at the wrong place and should go home. The question is not, “Where are they?” let alone, “Who are they?” “Where are we?” is an inclusive questioning that grapples with new situations from within. Diversity is not some thing that befalls us from without but a process we are involved in as subjects too. Understood medially, the face of diversity is ours as well.

Keywords: Middle Voice, Mediality, Medial Age, Hermeneutics, Gadamer

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.295-306. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 617.468KB).

Dr. Philippe Eberhard

Adjunct Professor, Languages and Cultures, William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, USA

Dr. Xiao-lei Wang

Professor, School of Education, Pace University, Cortlandt Manor, New York, USA


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