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Race Equality, Diversity and Organisational Practices


The next meeting of the Race and Leadership Research Interest Group (RIG) will take place:

Date: 23rd March 2018
Venue: University of Huddersfield
Time: 10:30-15:00





Registration. Tea, Coffee, Biscuits


Welcome and overview of the day’s activities (Prof Paul Miller)

11.10 - 11.50

Asima Iqbal (University of Warwick)
'Is religion the new race?'

11.55 - 12.35

Dr Eugenia Katartzi (University of Huddersfield)
'From Intercuralist Discourses to Exclusionary Practices: Diversity management and the myth of inter/multiculturalism'

12.35- 13.15



Deborah Jones
'What does it mean to be 'successful'?: narratives of British South Asian principals and headgirls'

14.05 - 14.40

Panel Discussion involving Keynote Speakers (Led by Dr Christine Callender)

14.45 - 15.00

Informal networking and end

Presentation summary and Biographical Sketches 
Asima Iqbal
Is religion the new race?

This presentation draws on some key findings from a doctoral study that aimed to explore how [Pakistani] Muslim headteachers perceive their religion in a professional role. In particular, I will discuss the experiences of the selected Muslim headteachers with regard to their affiliation with Islam and their being part of the BME group. By using examples from the selected Muslim headteachers’ narratives, I will illustrate how their faith and ethnicity challenged them to the extent that they would question their own beliefs and identity as Asian Muslim headteachers. The way the selected headteachers expressed their religion led them to encounter both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ discrimination; terms which resonated with the findings of one of the pioneer projects on black and minority ethnic (BME) school leaders in the UK (Bush, Glover and Sood, 2006). A discussion of the headteachers’ accounts will give some insight into how religion, rather than race, is viewed as ‘a point of difference, a characteristic to fear’ (Warsi, 2017). The Trojan Horse Controversy which emerged at the same time as this research, also contributes to the argument that religion, as a form of diversity cannot be ignored in terms of its possible influence on school leadership.


Based on my doctoral study, I am interested in doing further research on Muslim professionals working in the field of education. By collecting narratives of Muslim professionals, I intend to further explore the multiple concerns faced by Muslims living in England. Considering the Trojan Horse controversy, and many other similar events, understanding the lived experiences of Muslim professionals is crucial to have a healthy debate about the place and perception of Islam in British public sphere.


Dr Eugenia Katartzi
From Intercuralist Discourses to Exclusionary Practices: Diversity management and the myth of inter/multiculturalism

The presentation will explore how diversity management is discursively constructed and enacted, drawing upon the Greek case of intercultural education. After the 1990s Greece has witnessed a substantial increase of its migrant population and a transformation to a de facto multicultural society. A critical, discursive analytic approach (CDA) will be applied with the view to interrogate the cultural politics of diversity in the educational field and empirically explore the representations and subject positions of migrant youth conveyed through language. Arguably, in the education policies and rhetoric are impregnated with an intercultural and inclusionary discourse, which is nevertheless disrupted by exclusionary practices and a surface and deficit-imbued approach to diversity. As it will be illustrated, policy texts are enacted in ways that particularise, other and racialise migrant and ethnic minority youth. In this way interculturalism, rather than redefining equality, becomes a vehicle for the reordering of power relations and hierarchies of belonging.


Dr Eugenia Katartzi is Senior Lecturer in Childhood, Youth& Education Studies at the University of Huddersfield.  Prior to joining the University of Huddersfield, she has held teaching and research posts at the Universities of Leeds, Bath and Edinburgh. She has an expertise in sociology of education and education policy, as these are cross-cut by increasing diversity, migration and displacement. Her research interests are located at the psychosocial study of children and young people’s intersecting identities mediated by ethnic, classed and gendered inequalities.  


Dr Deborah Jones
What does it mean to be 'successful'?: narratives of British South Asian principals and headgirls

In this presentation, the lived experiences of four academically and professionally 'successful' British South Asian girls and women are explored- two headgirls and two principals. This study draws on narrative interview approaches and Black feminist thinking to explore the experiences of these 'successful' women within this cross-generational study. The paper is framed around two key questions: What does it mean to be 'successful' in these roles? How is 'success' mediated across their lived experiences? Key markers of success include leaving a legacy, nurturing others and juggling demands. The paper concludes that these women experience heightened visibility due to their British Asian identities and competing professional and cultural expectations, which reveal the complexities of 'success' journeys for minority ethnic women.


Dr Deborah Jones is a Reader in Education at Brunel University London. Originally a teacher, she has worked on teams supporting children for whom English is a second language and also within the Advisory and Inspectorate service for a London Borough. Her most recent research focuses on headteacher identities in relation to gender and race.

Registration for this event is free and full venue details will be provided to registered delegates in the form of joining instructions.


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