School principals’ diversity ideologies in fostering the inclusion of Muslims in Finnish and Swedish
Mainstream scholarly approaches to improving equity in education, including culturally responsive education, promote multicultural recognition of diversity and abandon color-blindness as an ineffective strategy. The social psychological literature affords a more nuanced understanding of the merits of different diversity ideologies. However, these research strands rarely address religion. It is vital to study the actualization and influences of different diversity ideologies with respect to different forms of diversity and different contexts. This study analyzes Finnish and Swedish principals’ diversity ideologies in fostering Muslim inclusion. The principals rely mainly on color-blind ideology, but assimilation into the secular normativity of the school is also commonly pursued. Multicultural ideology commonly applies to linguistic diversity, while Islam is excluded from the multiculturalist discourse. Reflexivity regarding the complex dynamics of recognizing individual vs. group identities in education as well as understanding of the implications of religion-blindness is called for.