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The prerogative to respect diversity, often said to "begin with biodiversity" of non-human life, is basic to some 20th-century studies, such as cultural ecology, Queer studies, and anthropological linguistics.
In various forms it is promoted by many political movements, most notably feminism, gay rights, green politics, animal rights and the anti-globalization movement. However it means somewhat different things in each of these. To some, diversity means bio-diversity and the existence of several distinct races and cultures. To others, diversity means the mixing and reunification of races and cultures into one, as per the melting pot idea.
Prescriptions to respect (non-biological) diversity are common in:
- community-based economics, i.e. no one policy for all regions, especially all ecoregions
- diversity training that is designed to encourage people to be aware of how different people perceive the world and how an awareness of this can enhance efficiency of an organisation
- consensus decision making support
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Criticisms include the opinion that the tenet advocates black power, xenocentrism and misandry (female chauvinism), focused too much on the victim status of people who are not male or Caucasian, belief that the concept threatens sovereignty (or even cultural diversity in itself), and inhibits free speech.
Green politics and diversity
The Green Party of the United States discusses a respect for diversity as follows:
- We believe it is important to value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity, and to promote the development of respectful relationships across these lines.
- We believe that the many diverse elements of society should be reflected in our organizations and decision-making bodies, and we support the leadership of people who have been traditionally closed out of leadership roles. We acknowledge and encourage respect for other life forms than our own and the preservation of biodiversity.