Universities caught up in racism discourse. Representation of cultural diversity in university promotional materials in the U.S. and the Netherlands.
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The current debate on institutional racism unfortunately also reflects in education institutions. However, national education policies do emphasize diversity and strive for a representative reflection of society in the student body. This thesis reviews the representation of cultural diversity in university promotional materials in the Netherlands and the United States of America (U.S.) because representations might affect the actual student influx. A critical discourse analysis reveals the following pattern: ‘being White is the default and ‘the other’ is portrayed in a binary opposition’. The degree of explicitness does differ in the Netherlands and the U.S.. Even though these universities might have the best intentions to promote diversity, the findings of this thesis demonstrate that underlying discourse on racism is reflected in promotional materials. Is there no escape from the existing power structures constructed in society over years? Or can education institutions perhaps be the precursors in the fight against institutional racism?