When my head pounds I know I’m onto something: I’ll have either carefully navigated my thoughts and feelings to find what I genuinely care about, or I’ll have stumbled upon phenomena I truly value. These headpounding moments have been like epiphanies and generally relate to what I perceive as social injustices: poverty and inequality; exclusion and discrimination; or unfair and disrespectful treatment of “vulnerable” people. They have been positively triggered too: training on diversity as a tool of inclusion; encouragement; maximisation of potential; and pluralistic participation.
Given that I care about these themes to such an extent as to make my head pound, it is only appropriate that I dedicate some of my time tackling the injustices and promoting diversity. On a personal level I’ve never been particularly fond of in-group behaviour, finding the consequent and inevitable exclusion unpleasant. That is not to say that group behaviour should be discouraged, but that perhaps it should not be idealised as the essential glue that holds societies together. It seems particularly distasteful to establish advanced, privileged and indulgent groups that function in a cohesive way, and even democratically within their own boundaries, before inclusive co-operation has been guaranteed for those marginalised beyond those boundaries. Perhaps we might consider this as conflict theory, but I would argue that inequalities and social injustice are themselves innately derived from and therefore indicate conflict regardless of the theoretical prism we decide to apply. The far more relevant question for me is how diversity and intercultural tools and methodologies can help to resolve the conflict through reduction of social inequalities and injustice.