“Cosmetic diversity”: University websites and the transformation of race categories.

Universities are under pressure to represent the ethno-racial diversity of their student bodies in the most favorable light via their websites. We analyzed the race/ethnicity tables and figures featured prominently on the websites of 158 colleges and universities. We found 3 practices that institutions undertake to enhance the appearance of diversity on campus: omission, aggregation, and addition of ethno-racial categories. Universities with the lowest levels of student diversity were the most likely to engage in these practices. We understand these practices to be organizational-level racial projects (Omi & Winant, 2015). That is, universities are actively transforming “the content and importance of racial categories” (p. 61). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)