The Multiple Lives of Diversity in Post-dictatorship Chile

Tomas Ojeda Guemes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


Over the last two decades, various forms of ‘diversity work’ have become a requirement for clinical psychologists working with LGBTIQ+ people. Having been introduced as a response to a long history of pathologization, racist, and cisheteronormative forms of exclusions, diversity arrived to fix and repair past wrongs in a move that has been described as the “turn to diversity” in the psy disciplines. The latter has led to the development of affirmative approaches to mental health and LGBTIQ+ cultural competence training, with the USA and the UK being among the main exporters of such models. This chapter critically interrogates the work that the idea of the turn does to sexual and gender diversity in its arrival in the psy professions, using Chile as a case example. Drawing on sexual dissident, queer and critical race theorizations of diversity, I suggest a mode of interrogation into the workings of the turn that situates diversity within a broader history of arrivals and conceptual departing, whose politics is one of replacement, disappearance, and concealment of race and the conflicts associated with the past of the Chilean dictatorship. The chapter proceeds as follows. First, it sets out its key theoretical contribution by situating the diversity turn in relation to, and as continuation of, the histories of arrival of “multiculturalism” and the “rhetoric of consensus” in post-dictatorship Chile. By conceptualizing the turn to diversity as a process marked by a mechanism of concealment and replacement, I put forward a conceptual framework for thinking about sexual and gender diversity as having a psychic life. I explore this dimension through the concept of “haunting” as an analytic to address the turn in its ghostly presence through examples from fieldwork that looked at the practice of diversity work in Chile. The chapter concludes by suggesting a shift from an understanding of the turn in its forward-looking orientation that works instead as a form of returning that exposes the psy professions in their troubling relationship with race and the recent history of Chile.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Psychosocial Studies
EditorsStephen Frosh, Marita Vyrgioti, Julie Walsh
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783030615109
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

This work was supported by the Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (ANID) / Scholarship Program / DOCTORADO BECAS CHILE/ 2017 - 72180458


  • Diversity
  • Haunting
  • Sexual dissidence
  • Psy professions
  • Reflexivity


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