Marcelo Diversi, Ph.D.
I have been a faculty member in the Department of Human Development at WSUV since August of 2006. My scholarship has focused on youth growing up at dehumanizing margins of democratic societies, from children living in the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, to undocumented Latino youth in northern Utah, to homeless and foster youth in Clark County. My work attempts to disrupt the reductionist and essentializing representations of disenfranchised youth in the mainstream social sciences, mostly based on fragments of lived experience fabricated by the technologies of justification—the so-called (logical-positivistic) methodologies. While logical-positivism has been crucial in our attempt to move from dogma to Enlightenment-based notions of rationality, critical thinking, and equality, it continues to be used as the single-story about human experience within the social sciences. Thus, in addition to deconstructing dominant narratives of “deviance” and “free will,” I have attempted to trouble the colonialist ideologies behind much of knowledge production about the Other. I have tried to do so by advancing ethnographic narratives that highlight the encounter between researcher and youth (as opposed to the traditional detached observation and description of the Other from “everywhere”), and narratives that invite the reader to see themselves, even if ever fleetingly, in these youth’s situations. The central goal of my scholarship is not to tell the academic and public communities who these marginalized youth are, but to expose the social structures and mechanisms that officially justify the exclusionary practices that shape and inform these youth’s experience of the world. I am interested in working with undergraduate and graduate students who want to become life-long knowledge seekers and who embrace human rights notions of unconditional inclusiveness.
- Decolonizing Epistemologies
- Politics of interpretation and representation in the social sciences
- Ethnography of street youth
Diversi, M., & Moreira, C. (2009). Betweener talk: Decolonizing knowledge production, pedagogy, and praxis. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
Winner of the National Communication Association, Division of Ethnography, 2010 Book of Year Award
Peer-reviewed Publications (Selected)
Cunningham, M., & Diversi, M. (in press). Aging out: Youths’ perspectives on foster care and the transition to independence. Qualitative Social Work.
Diversi, M., & Moreira, C. (2013). Migrant stories: Searching for healing in autoethnographies of Diaspora. To appear in M. Weems (Ed.), Writings of healing and resistance: Empathy and the imagination intellect (pp. 135-146), Cultural Critique Series. New York: Peter Lang Publisher.
Diversi, M., & Moreira, C. (2012). Decolonizing constructions of childhood and history: Interrupting narratives of avoidance to children’s questions about social injustice. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 25(2), 189-203.
Diversi, M., & Henhawk, D. (2012). Indigenous qualitative inquiry: (Re)Awakening, together, from a long colonizing slumber. International Review of Qualitative Research, 5, 51-72.
Moreira, C, & Diversi, M. (2011). Missing bodies: Troubling the colonial landscape of American academia. Text and Performance Quarterly, 31, 229-248. Winner of the National Communication Association, Division of Ethnography, 2012 Best Journal Article Award
Moreira, C., & Diversi, M. (2010). When janitors dare to become scholars: A betweeners’ view of the politics of knowledge production from decolonizing street-corners. International Review of Qualitative Research, 2, 457-474.
Diversi, M., & Finley, S. (2010). Special Issue on Critical Homelessness (Guest Editors). Cultural Studies and Critical Methodologies.
Finley, S., & Diversi, M. (2010). Critical homelessness: Expanding narratives of inclusive democracy. Cultural Studies and Critical Methodologies, 10, 4-13.
Diversi, M., & Finley, S. (2010). Poverty pimps in the academy: A dialogue about subjectivity, reflexivity, and power in decolonizing production of knowledge. Cultural Studies and Critical Methodologies, 10, 14-17.
Veissiere, S., & Diversi, M. (2009). Popular education, hegemony and street children in Brazil: Towards an ethnographic praxis. In A. Abdi & D. Kapoor (Eds.), Global perspectives on adult education. New York: Palgrave-MacMillan Publishing.
Diversi, M. (2008). Young and strapped in America: Learning through a short story about a Latino youth finding meaning in Tupac’s rap. In P. Liamputtong & J. Rumbold (Eds.) Knowing differently: Arts-based and collaborative research. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Diversi, M. (2007). A professor’s fortunate suggestion: An essay on the transformative power of interpretive epistemologies. Qualitative Inquiry, 13, 1117-1188.
Diversi, M. (2006). Street kids in Nikes: In search of humanization through the culture of consumption. Cultural Studies and Critical Methodologies, 6, 370-390.
- PhD in Human and Community Development, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- Master's in Sports Psychology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- BA in Education/Physical Education, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil