Resource: Discourse Analysis Framework to evaluate DEI resources, organisations and groups

I recently realised I needed a framework to do some simple discourse analysis to compare how my principles align with other DEI practioners and resources.

I want to help make societal change in the area of D&I more scalable and accessible but I recognise that I have a different way of looking at things and always challenge the status quo.

While this may put me at odds with some D&I practitioners, I was hoping that I might be able to find D&I practitioners that I could find some alignment with.

When I look at someone else’s work I tend to compare and contrast it to my own. Questions such as:

  • What parts of this are useful but aren’t covered by my work?
  • Which parts of my work are useful but aren’t covered here? and
  • Would my principles be complementary to this person?

This is why I have created a Discourse Analysis Framework to help to gauge where people and organisations are in their DEI journey, helps me decide whether they align with my values, and also helps people uncover the complexities of DEI work.

Here I provide the 12 points of this Discourse Analysis Framework slighly changed to help answer the active question: “Does this group/organisation/work…”
  1. Build trust and legitimacy
  2. Humanise policy and strategy
  3. Highlight challenges to audience
  4. Understand that change is uncomfortable
  5. Understand marginalised people by centering them
  6. Understand the different “degrees of difficulty”
  7. Understand that intersectionality as a spectrum
  8. Understand the cumulative effects of marginalisation
  9. Understand that merit is often based on opportunity, not ability
  10. Provide practical actions as an organisation that embeds DEI into core processes
  11. Provide practical actions as an individual that embeds DEI into everyday processes
  12. Recognise the need to share power equitably

I think it captures my principles and allows me to have a structure to compare other DEI resources. The big question I always challenge people on is “Does it humanise?”.  I have a strong opinion that using statistics and numbers to convince people to “get on the bandwagon” is not sustainable.

To find out more, please have a look at “Mosbergen, Rowland (2023). Improving Diversity and Inclusion in the RSE Community. figshare. Presentation.“.

So how do I use this in a practical way? I glad you asked. Here is an example of using this discourse analysis framework to provide feedback on the UKRI EDI strategy.