"Belonging and Diversity" doesn't mean "Fair and Equitable" Diversity Initiatives within Chain Pet Stores

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Kayla Ramirez


Record ID: 319

Student Major: Sociology

Project Advisor: Oneya Okuwobi

Abstract: This study observes how retail stores, specifically chain pet stores, interact with the subject of race by examining various forms of literature produced by the company that follows a 'diversity' initiative. Diversity Ideology, coined by Sarah Mayorga-Gallo, is a form of racial consciousness that challenged Colorblindness, where racism was conceived as something from the past or as failing from people of color. Diversity Ideology is framed as the answer to racism while centering white people's desires and feelings. Pet Stores, like all organizations, are racial structures that can aid in systemic and institutional racial inequality. However, unlike other organizations, pet stores cater to small-domesticated pets rather than humans which gives off a facade of neutrality in terms of racial politics. How are pet stores racialized? By observing multiple pieces of literature produced by the company and interviewing a store manager of one of the chains in the cincinnati area, I believe that pet stores will utilize the diversity ideology in approaching race which convince workers that their company is diverse but in reality is not effective in reducing racial inequality.

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Category: Innovation and Access
Author Biography

Kayla Ramirez

Major: Sociology