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Duo status: Disentangling the complex interactions within a minority of two

Diversity and Groups

ISBN: 978-1-84855-052-0, eISBN: 978-1-84855-053-7

ISSN: 1534-0856

Publication date: 1 August 2008


Research and theory on diversity in organizations tends to examine relations between the majority and minority and to overlook relations within the minority. In this chapter we explore the dynamics within a minority that represents a token percentage (less than 15%) of the larger group (Kanter, R. M. 1977b). We argue that members of a minority sub-group are subject to inter-group and intra-group pressures and that these pressures are greatest for a minority of two. We introduce the term “duo-status” to describe this two-token situation and examine the positive, neutral, and negative dynamics that result depending on the coping strategy chosen by each member of the duo.


Lewin Loyd, D., White, J.B. and Kern, M. (2008), "Duo status: Disentangling the complex interactions within a minority of two", Phillips, K.W. (Ed.) Diversity and Groups (Research on Managing Groups and Teams, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 75-92.



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