Hermeneutics and Diversity

As discussed previously on this blog, hermeneutics is the study of the interpretation of of events. So, in studying the usefulness of
hermeneutics in public administration, we must consider how different groups
interpret events differently.

Here’s an example:

Last year, one city determined that its volunteer boards and commissions were composed of only 15% minorities, while the city’s population
was composed of 45% minorities. Appointments to these boards and commissions
are made by the city’s Board of Directors, which is (and always has been)
majority white. Different groups of people in the community (and on the Board
of Directors) interpreted this information differently.

Please share your comments of how you think different groups in the community would interpret this information differently and what actions (if
any) they might recommend to make changes.

After everyone has had a chance to comment, I’ll make another blog post and share what really happened in this community.

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Warren Master

Oddly enough, depending on where in this country such an occurrence took place, I suspect there would be an underlying agreement among many minorities as well as “whites” as to what accounts for this seeming disparity. That is, a combination of 1) ignorance of the majority of a sizable pool of minorities interested in serving, and 2) ignorance of the opportunity for community service within the minority community – with minorites leaning more on cause #1 and whites more on cause #2. Of course, a less generous inference (or message in a hermeneutics context) might be 1) whites are biased against minorites and don’t want to relinquish control and/or 2) minorities are not interested in community service.
Innovative and provocative query, Griffin.