"Comfortable" Terms:

Diversity Discourse and Institutional White Supremacy in UK Libraries


  • Emilie Pichot


equality, diversity, inclusion, institutional white supremacy, policy, critical discourse analysis, UK


Utilising a theoretical approach from Critical Race Theory and applying a method of Critical Discourse Analysis, this article aims to explore diversity discourse within EDI documents published by the UK library profession. It is vital that the profession have a shared vocabulary about what is meant by "diversity", "inclusion", and "equality" and that there is critical reflection on the professional culture to seriously interrogate the language and processes used to go about achieving any goals of social justice. As this article will show, the language used in EDI documents often prevents the library profession from unlearning white supremacy and only perpetuates it within the profession and its institutions. Quite contrary to their stated intentions, EDI documents can be used in institutions to validate an already deeply entrenched institutional culture and stall substantial change.

KEYWORDS: Equality, Diversity, Inclusion, Institutional White Supremacy, Policy, Critical Discourse Analysis






Research Articles