In this unique work, James P. Sterba argues that traditional ethics has yet to confront the three significant challenges posed by environmentalism, feminism, and multiculturalism. He maintains that while traditional ethics has been quite successful at dealing with the problems it faces, it has not addressed the possibility that its solutions to these problems are biased in favor of humans, men, and Western culture. In Three Challenges to Ethics: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Multiculturalism, Sterba examines each of these challenges. (...) In the case of environmentalism, he argues that traditional ethics must incorporate conflict resolution principles that favor nonhumans over humans in a significant range of cases. In terms of feminism, he maintains that traditional ethics should rule out gendered family structures and implement an ideal of androgyny. In regard to multiculturalism, he contends that traditional ethics must endorse an ethics that is secular in character and that can survive an extensive comparative evaluation of both Western and non-Western moral ideals and cultures. The only textbook devoted to this topic, Three Challenges to Ethics is an engaging text for introductory courses in ethics and moral problems and is also interesting and provocative reading for scholars and general readers. (shrink)
Will Kymlicka argues that societal culture matters to liberalism because it contributes to its members’ freedom. If so, multiculturalism that advocates group rights to sustain minority societal cultures in the liberal West is in fact entailed by liberalism, the core value of which is individual freedom. “Freedom,” then, functions as the main bridge between liberalism and multiculturalism in Kymlicka’s position. Kymlicka is correct that societal culture contributes to its members’ freedom by providing them with meaningful options. The sense (...) of freedom enabled by culture, however, is not equivalent to the notion of freedom advocated by mainstream liberalism, liberal autonomy. I argue in this paper that Kymlicka’s liberal multiculturalism is an inconsistent and therefore implausible theoretical construct because Kymlicka unwittingly equivocates on “freedom” in using its two distinct senses interchangeably. (shrink)
This paper approaches "multiculturalism" obliquely via conceptions of social and political pluralism in the pragmatist tradition. As a matter of social analysis, the advent of multiculturalism implies some loss of confidence in our prior conceptions of accommodating ethnic, social, and religious diversity: the conversion of traditional American cultural diversity into a war of political interest groups. This, and the corresponding tendency toward cultural relativism and "anything goes," is fundamentally a product of over-centralization and cultural-political exhaustion in the wake (...) of the long ordeal of the Cold War. An over-emphasis on the political, and national centralization, has pressured our cultural variety toward more political forms, and "multiculturalism" is both product and backlash.<br><br> Many issues connected with the general theme of multiculturalism parallel philosophical debates on objectivity and the diversity of cultural perspectives. Successful treatments of these themes, drawing on the pragmatist tradition, need to be developed and applied to contemporary problems. The general approach here emphasizes a relative autonomy of religious, ethnic, and cultural-racial groups, the need to be wary of both exclusion and self-insulation, and the roles of individuals in mediating group differences. In the concluding section, specific issues relating religious pluralism and secularism will be addressed.<br><br>. (shrink)
New York University, USA In theoritical and political writings, multiculturalism is most frequently understood in the language of recognition. Multiculturalist initiatives responds to the demands of minority cultures for political and cultural recognition so long denied them with devastating effects. In this article, we argue that the politics of recognition may have implicit dangers. In so far as it is articulated as a demand placed upon a dominant group and integrally tied to the substantiation of pre-given or fixed identity, (...) it can easily mask or even reiterate cultural hierarchization associated with Eurocentrism. We argue that it is necessary to understand recognition in terms of equal dignity; at the core of our argument is the insistence that all of us must have our potential to shape our identifications recognized by the state, such that we - and not the state - are the source of the meaning that they have to us, as individuals and as members of groups. Key Words: multiculturalism racism recognition U.S. politics and culture. (shrink)
: This review considers the process of expansion of subjectivity that María Pía Lara introduces in Moral Textures: Feminist Narratives in the Public Sphere. As the complexity of Lara's understanding of multiculturalism is exhibited, the process of achievement of self-realization and autonomy is critiqued as inconsistent with the hidden transcript/public transcript distinction. The "we" to be fashioned intersubjectively in the dialogical process of subjective expansion cannot countenance that crucial distinction to the understanding of those narratives.
Bhikhu Parekh is an internationally renowned political theorist. His work on identity and multiculturalism is unquestionably thoughtful and nuanced, benefiting from a tremendous depth of knowledge of particular cases. Despite his work’s many virtues, however, the normative justification for Parekh’s recommendations is at times vague or ambiguous. In this essay, I argue that a close reading of his work, in particular his magnum opus Rethinking Multiculturalism and the selfproclaimed sequel A New Politics of Identity, reveals that his claims (...) frequently rely upon a Kantian account of moral dialogue and indeed moral personhood that he remains unwilling to claim. Recognizing this latent Kantianism is essential to a thorough assessment of Parekh’s work on identity, and his criticisms of other theorists. It is only because of his ambiguity that his multiculturalism is able to avoid the sort of charges that he levels against other responses to diversity, including those of such authors as Rawls, Habermas, Kymlicka, and Raz. (shrink)
I argue that the specter haunting multiculturalism is incommensurability. In many discussions of multiculturalism there is a ‘picture’ that holds us captive — a picture of cultures, religious or ethnic groups that are self-contained and are radically incommensurable with each other. I explore and critique this concept of incommensurability. I trace the idea of incommensurability back to the discussion by Thomas Kuhn — and especially to the ways in which his views were received. Drawing on Gadamer’s understanding of (...) hermeneutics, I argue that the very idea of radical incommensurability is incoherent. This does not entail an abstract universalism but rather sensitivity to the ways in which all languages and cultures are in principle open to the real possibility of enlarging one’s vision and mutually understanding. (shrink)
Today we can identify two challenges of pluralism: the ever-growing conflicts between religious, national and ethnic groups on the one hand and the oppression of dissenting individuals by their respective communities on the other hand. Both intercommunitarian and intracommunitarian conflicts find their origin in a communitarian conception of our political, cultural, or religious identities. After presenting some of the problems of the communitarian solution in particular with regard to the challenge of internal pluralism, I introduce alternative conceptions of multiculturalism (...) that consider our commitments to be part of our personal or individual identity. Distinguishing a conception of identity based upon self-knowledge from liberal, postmodern theories (Richard Rorty) and alternative non-cognitive theories (Bernard Williams) that consider identity to be individual in nature, I propose that the awareness of the individual nature of commitments makes it possible for us not to impose our values upon other individuals who do not share them while at the same time justifying the multicultural project. (shrink)
How should we think about the interrelationships that obtain among Philosophy, Education, and Culture? In this paper I explore the contours of one such interrelationship: namely, the way in which educational and (other) philosophical ideals transcend individual cultures. I do so by considering the contemporary educational and philosophical commitment to multiculturalism. Consideration of multiculturalism, I argue, reveals important aspects of the character of both educational and philosophical ideals. Specifically, I advance the following claims: i) We are obliged to (...) embrace the moral and political directives of multiculturalism. ii) This obligation is a moral one: that is, multiculturalism is justified on moral grounds. iii) Far from entailing any philosophically problematic form of cultural relativism, multiculturalism is itself a ‘universal’ or ‘transcultural’ ideal. iv) Moreover, the advocacy of multiculturalism presupposes another kind of universality, dubbed below ‘transcultural normative reach.’ v) Consequently, multiculturalism should not be understood as entailing the demise of ‘universalistic’ dimensions of either philosophy or education. (shrink)
In this post-9/11 era marked by religious and ethnic conflicts and the rise of cultural intolerance, ambiguities arising from the conflation of multiculturalism, sexism, and religious fundamentalism jeopardize the delivery of culturally safe nursing care to non-Western populations. This new social reality requires nurses to develop a heightened awareness of health issues pertaining to racism and ethnocentrism to provide culturally safe care to non-Western immigrants or refugees. Through the lens of post-colonial feminism, this paper explores the challenge of providing (...) culturally safe nursing care in the context of the post-9/11 in Canadian healthcare settings. A critical appraisal of the literature demonstrates that post-colonial feminism, despite some limitations, remains a valuable theoretical perspective to apply in cultural nursing research and develop culturally safe nursing practice. Post-colonial feminism offers the analytical lens to understand how health, social and cultural context, race and gender intersect to impact on non-Western populations' health. However, an uncritical application of post-colonial feminism may not serve racialized men's and women's interests because of its essentialist risk. Post-colonial feminism must expand its epistemological assumptions to integrate Taylor's concept of identity and recognition and Bakhtin's concepts of dialogism and unfinalizability to explore non-Western populations' health issues and the context of nursing practice. This would strengthen the theoretical adequacy of post-colonial feminist approaches in unveiling the process of racialization that arises from the conflation of multiculturalism, sexism, and religious fundamentalism in Western healthcare settings. (shrink)
Since the 1960s, a variety of new ways of addressing the challenges of diversity in American society have coalesced around the term "multiculturalism." In this article, we impose some clarity on the theoretical debates that surround divergent visions of difference. Rethinking multiculturalism from a sociological point of view, we propose a model that distinguishes between the social (associational) and cultural (moral) bases for social cohesion in the context of diversity. The framework allows us to identify three distinct types (...) of multiculturalism and situate them in relation to assimilationism, the traditional American response to difference. We discuss the sociological parameters and characteristics of each of these forms, attending to the strength of social boundaries as well as to the source of social ties. We then use our model to clarify a number of conceptual tensions in the existing scholarly literature and offer some observations about the politics of recognition and redistribution, and the recent revival of assimilationist thought. (shrink)
There are two kinds of resentment relevant to the politics of multiculturalism today. 1 The first, which is basically Nietzsche’s conception of ressentiment, occurs under conditions in which people are subject to systematic and structural deprivation of things they want (and need), combined with a sense of powerlessness about being able to do anything about it. It manifests itself in terms of a focused anger or hatred towards that group of people who seem to have everything they want, and (...) yet also symbolize their powerlessness to get it. For Nietzsche, of course, it was out of this set of emotions and psychological state of mind that the ‘slave revolt’ that gave birth to modern morality emerged, supplanting the aristocratic values oriented around good and bad with the reactive and slavish values of those oriented around good and evil (Nietzsche 1989: 36- 39). The desire to lash out or take revenge against those who you perceive as keeping you down, keeping you from enjoying all the benefits and advantages others enjoy and that you want or feel you deserve, for Nietzsche, is a basic emotional orientation that can – in combination with other complex forces - reshape an entire culture. A second form of resentment is of a more moralized kind; a reactive sentiment bound up with holding another morally accountable for their actions. I resent your curtailment of my liberty, for example, just because I believe we share certain moral commitments – for example, a.. (shrink)
This paper aims to evaluate thechallenges posed to traditional ethical theoryby the ethics of feminism, multiculturalism,and environmentalism. I argue that JamesSterba, in his Three Challenges to Ethics,provides a distorted assessment by trying toassimilate feminism, multiculturalism, andenvironmentalism into traditional utilitarian,virtue, and Kantian/Rawlsian ethics – which hethus seeks to rescue from their alleged``biases.'''' In the cases of feminism andmulticulturalism, I provide an alternativeaccount on which these new critical discourseschallenge the whole paradigm or conception ofethical inquiry embodied in the tradition.They embrace (...) different questions, goals, toolsof analysis, and wider audiences, typicallyignored or marginalized by traditionalethicists.I illustrate my argument through briefinterpretations of writers such as Susan Okin,Catharine Mackinnon, Sandra Bartky, JohnStoltenberg, Richard Wasserstrom, AnthonyAppiah, Charles Mills, Will Kymlicka, CharlesTaylor, and Martha Nussbaum. In many of thesecases, I suggest that they provide us with newways of being ethicists.In the case of environmentalism, I defend amore conservative and negative assessment.Sterba embraces authors such as Peter Singer,Tom Regan, and Paul Taylor in order to advancean environmentalist ethic of ``speciesequality/impartiality'''' and ``biocentricpluralism.'''' Here I argue that the traditionalKantian/Rawlsian ethics – which Sterba hopesto accommodate – actually provides compellingmoral reasons for rejecting his principles of``species impartiality'''' and biocentricpluralism. Moreover, Rawlsian ethics canprovide a more coherent, consistent, andplausible account of environmental issues thanSterba''s brand of environmental ethics. Iargue that in practice, his ethics concedeswhat it denies in theory – namely, the specialvalue which inheres in human beings.As such, environmental ethics, unlike feminismand multiculturalism, poses very little in theway of a credible challenge or alternative totraditional ethics. (shrink)
By analogy to Macpherson's "protective" and "self-developmental" models of liberal democracy, there might be two distinct models of liberal multiculturalism. On the protective-style model, the aim is to protect minority cultures against assimilationist and homogenizing intrusions of the majority. On the other model, here dubbed "polyglot multiculturalism," the majority might expand its own "context for choice" by having more minority cultures from whom to borrow. The latter is a more welcoming and inclusive strategy, still recognizably liberal in (...) form, than the self-defensive liberalism of the more purely protectionist sort. (shrink)
Many influential Western feminists of diverse backgrounds have expressed concerns that multiculturalism, while strengthening the power of racial ethnic minorities vis-à-vis the majority, worsens the position of its most vulnerable members, women. Despite their good intentions, these feminists have been consistently dismissive of the voices of racial ethnic women, many of whom argue for the importance of sustaining their own “illiberal” cultures within the Western context. I offer a Third World feminist defense of multiculturalism by paying attention to (...) these women whose varying assessments of multiculturalism are less unequivocally negative, more ambivalent and complex, and even affirming and positive. (shrink)
Over the past decade participants in these annual conferences have engaged in a thorough-going analysis of the relationships between science and culture, with special emphasis on the religious components of culture. Today I will focus on a new chapter in the long history of interactions between science and society at large. I want to analyze the antagonistic relations that have developed between science and the complex of ideas and values that can loosely be labelled as “multiculturalism”.
Doubts about the enterprise of cultural recognition have helped to fuel a backlash against the politics of multiculturalism in Europe during the last decade. Such doubts are well-founded. Charles Taylor's seminal discussion of the politics of recognition neglects serious difficulties that arise for the activity of recognition when the objective and subjective dimensions of cultural identity diverge. Narratives of cultural ?passing? help to highlight these difficulties and demonstrate that recognition can sometimes contribute to identity-based oppression. However, this conclusion does (...) not commit us to a politics of cultural indifference or assimilation: the rejection of recognition does not entail the rejection of perception in general. Iris Murdoch's notion of ?attention? provides a corrective to our understanding of recognition and thereby supplies a potentially superior ethical and perceptual basis for European multiculturalism in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
The multiculturalism and multilingualism typical of Moroccan society not only act as a backdrop to women’s participation in the public and political arena, but also provide a grid to analyse it. Upper-class women, whose level of education contrasted with very widespread illiteracy among the female population, were responsible for the birth of the modern feminist movement in Morocco in the 1940s. The heirs to historical figures who were prominent in building the nation, they fired the starting gun for women’s (...) emancipation. Moroccan women have struggled against colonialism and contributed to the progress of society. Their participation in politics is still limited mainly because of conservative ideas that stand in the way of their entry into political life. All in all women’s emancipation in Morocco has advanced since independence. Because of their fight women’s associations, and democratic forces in general, succeeded in bringing about reform of the Mudawana (family code) in 2004. However the choice between modernity and tradition remains a big challenge. (shrink)
I argue that science will be better, by its own criteria, if it pursues multiculturalism, by which I mean an ethnic- and gender-diverse set of scientists. I argue that minority and women scientists will be more likely to recognize false, prejudiced assumptions about race and gender that infect theories. And the kinds of changes that society will undergo in pursuing multiculturalism will help reveal these faulty assumptions to scientists of all races and genders.
Although Wes Shrum advertised my critics as representing quite distinct points of view, they nevertheless managed to converge on a set of concerns that revolve around the meanings of "rhetoric," "politics," and "multiculturalism" in the project of social epistemology. Either the critics were not chosen correctly or the book under discussion is quite obviously flawed! Rather than make that Hobson's choice, I will address my critics' concerns in a way that I hope will prove illuminating to other normatively oriented (...) theorists in the social sciences who want to take the challenge of postmodernism seriously but who also realize that postmodernism may soon become the orthodoxy, rather than the challenger, in cultural politics. (shrink)
This essay discusses the difference between the concepts of multiculturalism and interculturalism, both concepts which are current on the Canadian scene. It argues that the difference between the two is not so much a matter of the concrete policies, but concerns rather the story that we tell about where we are coming from and where we are going. In some ways, we could argue that interculturalism is more suitable for certain European countries.
Abstract The liberalism of fear urged by Judith Shklar emphasizes the dangers of political violence, cruelty, and humiliation. Those dangers clearly mark ethnic and cultural conflicts, so the liberalism of fear is an especially appropriate political ethic for an age marked by such conflicts. A multiculturalism of fear keeps its attention on those central political dangers while also noting that some kinds of cruelty and humiliation might not be appreciated without reference to the larger ethnic and cultural context, and (...) that treating ethnicity and culture as completely outside of politics is not the best way to prevent cruelty. (shrink)
Robert Goodin has usefully distinguished two models of liberal multiculturalism: “Protective multiculturalism,” which justifies multiculturalist policies, such as granting minority cultures group rights, on the grounds that such policies may be necessary to defend those cultures against oppression, and “Polyglot multiculturalism,” which positively values multiculturalism for sake of its benefits to society at large. Typically, it is the autonomy of a society’s members that multiculturalism is thought to benefit. The purpose of this paper is to (...) call attention to several other possible benefits of multiculturalism. We find in Mill’s discussion of “individuality” three suggestions as to how the social diversity brought by multiculturalism may promote well-being: through self-development, through individuals’ identification of suitable pursuits, and through social progress. While I believe that all three of Mill’s suggestions are worthy of reexamination, inthis paper I focus my attention on defending the latter. (shrink)
In this book, C. G. Prado addresses the difficult question of when and whether it is rational to end one’s life in order to escape devastating terminal illness. He specifically considers this question in light of the impact of multiculturalism on perceptions and judgments about what is right and wrong, permissible and impermissible. Prado introduces the idea of a “coincidental culture” to clarify the variety of values and commitments that influence decision. He also introduces the idea of a “proxy (...) premise” to deal with reasoning issues that are raised by intractably held beliefs. Primarily intended for medical ethicists, this book will be of interest to anyone concerned about the ability of modern medicine to keep people alive, thereby forcing people to choose between living and dying. In addition, Prado calls upon medical ethicists and practitioners to appreciate the value of a theoretical basis for their work. (shrink)
This article studies a seeming paradox ? the adoption of multi-culturalist strategies and arguments by the neo-fascist European New Right. Why would neo-fascists adopt such a theoretical framework, and why has multiculturalism failed in Europe? In this article, I argue that the European New Right employs a multiculturalism framework, which I define as a recognition/exclusionist one, in order to create a new discourse of ?legitimate exclusionism? of non-authentic European immigrants. In short, multiculturalism, by celebrating differences between ethnic (...) and cultural groups, inherently admits that there exist such differences between individuals. This allows neo-fascists to distinguish between themselves and ?others?, immigrants not sharing their cultural heritage, and to claim the need for protecting such a cultural heritage through exclusion of others. As this article attempts to claim, immigrants will not benefit from multiculturalism, but the right of the radical integralist in its different versions. (shrink)
Is a Muslim still a Muslim when he crashes airplanes into the twin towers? Any serious theory of multiculturalism has to deny that Islam could ever come to justify suicide bombing and terrorism. My thesis is that none of the contemporary multicultural theories manages to do so, or at least not without collapsing into a Kantian conception of personal autonomy and, consequently, into some standard version of liberalism. Communitarianism, trying to demonstrate that fundamentalism has nothing to do with the (...) true and authentic Islam and that it does not take into account the pluralism prevailing in Islam, has to moralize Islam. A Humean position, which takes Islamic fundamentalism to be merely a pathology, the product of resentment and western neocolonialism, eventually could come to the conclusion that good and upright Muslims today cannot help but become suicide bombers. Liberal multiculturalism, considering identity to be a matter of choice, must suppose that an active agent with self-knowledge is by definition a responsible person with a moral identity. In conclusion, multiculturalism, in its effort to make the good identities prevail over the bad and the ugly identities, risks adopting some of the same righteous attitudes towards Islam as traditional liberalism. (shrink)
In this article, Walter Parker brings structure and agency to the foreground of the current tumult of public schooling in the United States. He focuses on three structures that are serving as rules and resources for creative agency. These are a discourse of derision about failing schools, a broad mobilization of multiculturalism, and an enduring nationalism. Drawing on Anthony Giddens's structuration theory, Parker examines how these discourses figure in redefining school reform, redefining school curricula, and requiring schools once again (...) to serve nationalistic purposes. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that Barry, given the commitments that underlie his own theory of justice as impartiality, should be far more receptive to claims for cultural accommodation. Recognizing certain cultural rights claims will help balance against the ways that policies adopted by democratic majorities fail to treat members of minority cultural groups impartially. While I frame the paper in terms of an immanent criticism of this well-known opponent to multiculturalism, my analysis places demands on a whole section (...) of contractualist political theory. It has implications for any theory of justice that, like Barry’s justice as impartiality (or Rawls’ justice as fairness), is rooted in an account of what citizens could reasonably accept or reject. As such, it offers a contractualist approach to cultural difference that is better able to address the assertions of Iris Marion Young and others that political liberalism is another form of oppression. (shrink)
Multicultural education can be seen as generally premised on two assumptions. The first is often made explicit: that children should learn not to discriminate unfairly on grounds of ethnicity or culture. To this degree, multiculturalism is clearly morally educative, encouraging children to see others in terms of their common humanity rather than their cultural differences. The second is more implicit and diffuse: that sensitivity to cultural and ethnic difference ipso facto promotes social justice and/or harmony between people(s) and thus (...) is morally educative. Further implicit in this is that persons with different cultural practices are ipso facto ?more different? than those in similar relationships (such as neighbour, friend, customer, employee or whatever) but belonging to the same cultural groups, in terms of their lived experience. The concept ?more different? implies that ?difference? can be measured, and as a basis for policy, it further implies that such measurement can be objective. This article challenges this latter set of assumptions, drawing on ideas from nihilism, existentialism, poststructuralism and discursive psychology. If degrees of difference in lived experience cannot be objectively (or even intersubjectively) measured, then assumptions about how culture ?fixes? life experience may have undesirable, rather than desirable effects, and may counter, rather than reinforce, the explicit aim of multicultural education to reduce ethnic and cultural discrimination. Individual positioning may be as important as cultural heritage in determining differences in life experience, and thus possibilities for moral action, yet learners may not be able to respond to persons as individuals on the basis of an understanding of collective cultural differences. (shrink)
Multiculturalism has not yet systematically addressed, much less challenged, dominant approaches to poverty and welfare reform. This lacuna must be rectified since the widespread poverty experienced by people of color poses a substantive threat to the development of a truly inclusive and multicultural society. Present approaches to poverty, defined in the context of welfare reform, are defective for three reasons: First, welfare reform basically aims to reduce welfare “dependency” by moving so-called able-bodied welfare recipients off welfare and into the (...) labor market. This project seems destined to fail given a chronic scarcity of jobs, and especially decent paying jobs. Second, welfare reform does not provide an adequate framework for the general alleviation of poverty since many poor receive little or no welfare assistance. Third, welfare assistance is based on an invidious, stigmatizing distinction between the able-bodied poor (viewed as unworthy and disreputable) and the disabled poor. Thus, given disproportionate rates of poverty among people of color as well as a general (but mistaken) impression that US poverty is principally a “minority” problem, present policies and attitudes toward the poor insure that many people of color will bear the brunt of economic and symbolic marginalization despite gains which accrue to some people of color as the result of greater racial and cultural inclusiveness. (shrink)
In this essay, I propose a definition of multiculturalism and provide pragmatic and theoretical reasons for accepting the multicultural perspective when it is defined in this manner. In addition, I discuss and defend three sociopolitical principles to which we are committed in adopting the multicultural perspective and discuss some of the concrete social and institutional changes needed for implementing these principles.
In this essay, Bruce Maxwell, David Waddington, Kevin McDonough, Andrée-Anne Cormier, and Marina Schwimmer compare two competing approaches to social integration policy, Multiculturalism and Interculturalism, from the perspective of the issue of the state funding and regulation of conservative religious schools. After identifying the key differences between Interculturalism and Multiculturalism, as well as their many similarities, the authors present an explanatory analysis of this intractable policy challenge. Conservative religious schooling, they argue, tests a conceptual tension inherent in (...) class='Hi'>Multiculturalism between respect for group diversity and autonomy, on the one hand, and the ideal of intercultural citizenship, on the other. Taking as a case study Québec's education system and, in particular, recent curricular innovations aimed at helping young people acquire the capabilities of intercultural citizenship, the authors illustrate how Interculturalism signals a compelling way forward in the effort to overcome the political dilemma of conservative religious schooling. (shrink)
Equality in Difference: Hierarchical Multiculturalism and Membership Illusions Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 489-494 DOI 10.1007/s10746-011-9193-x Authors Ella Schmidt, Department of Anthropology, Criminology, and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, University of South Florida-St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, FL, USA Journal Human Studies Online ISSN 1572-851X Print ISSN 0163-8548 Journal Volume Volume 34 Journal Issue Volume 34, Number 4.
This paper is critically engaged in the elaboration of the securitization and stigmatization of migration and Islam in the West, which is believed to be leading to the rise of Islamophobic sentiments and to the backlash of both multiculturalism and republicanism. Migration has been framed as a source of fear and instability for the nation-states in the West in a way that constructs ‘communities of fear’. It will be claimed that both securitization and Islamophobia have recently been employed by (...) the neo-liberal states as a form of governmentality in order to control the masses in ethno-culturally and religiously diverse societies at the expense of deepening the already existing cleavages between majority and minorities with Muslim background. (shrink)
Mill is commonly dismissed as being hostile to multiculturalism. A review of some existing interpretations and an exploration of some overlooked aspects of his thought shows this to be a mistake. He is alleged to devalue lives not dedicated to the pursuit of individual autonomy: in fact he is a liberal communitarian. Other, legitimate, critiques point to his cultural imperialism. Many allege, mistakenly, that he is a proponent of national homogeneity. Yet Mill remains largely misunderstood with regard to (...) class='Hi'>multiculturalism. His focus on individual self-perfection is a strong aid, not impediment, to a distinctly liberal multiculturalism, because inherently value pluralist. His scepticism about the power of human cognition precludes dogmatism about primary personal values. His alleged support of national homogeneity demonstrates an acknowledgement of individuals’ particularistic attachments without supporting nationalist parochialism. By doing justice both to individuals’ instinct of particularity and their potential for cosmopolitanism, it fosters rather than undermines liberal multiculturalism. (shrink)
Wallace, Meg London's National Theatre recently hosted a debate about freedom of speech, multiculturalism and Islam called Can we talk about this? The opening line was a question to the audience, 'Are you morally superior to the Taliban?' Anne Marie Waters, who was present, wrote in her blog that 'very few people in the audience raised their hand to say they were.' This response demonstrates a misconceived attempt to be seen as tolerant and 'multiculturalist'. People could not bring themselves (...) to say their views are morally superior to a group that, Waters points out, 'denies women medical treatment, imprisons them in their homes, allows domestic violence, and executes people by stoning for having a private life or the audacity to not believe in God.' They fear being labelled, racist, 'Islamophobic', or discriminating against religion. Rather, they adopt a stance that treats all moral views generated by culture or religion as equally valid ('cultural relativism'). They confuse the distinction between the right to think as you want, and the right to act as you want. (shrink)
In many Western democracies, ethnic and racial minorities have demanded, and sometimes achieved, greater recognition and accommodation of their identities. This is reflected in the adoption of multiculturalism policies for immigrant groups, the acceptance of territorial autonomy and language rights for national minorities, and the recognition of land claims and self-government rights for indigenous peoples. These claims for recognition have been controversial, in part because of fears that they make it more difficult to sustain a robust welfare state by (...) eroding the interpersonal trust, social solidarity and political coalitions that sustain redistribution. Are these fears of a conflict between a "politics of recognition" and a "politics of redistribution" valid? -/- This volume is the first systematic attempt to empirically test this question, using both cross-national statistical analyses of the relationships among diversity policies, public attitudes and the welfare state, and case studies of the recognition/ redistribution linkage in the political coalitions in particular countries, including the United States, Britain, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, and in Latin America. These studies suggest that that there is no general or inherent tendency for recognition to undermine redistribution, and that the relationship between these two forms of politics can be supportive as well as competitive, depending on the context. These findings shed important light, not only on the nature and effects of multiculturalism, but also on wider debates about the social and political foundations of the welfare state, and indeed about our most basic concepts of citizenship and national identity. -/- As a ground-breaking attempt to connect the literatures on multiculturalism and the welfare state, this volume will be of great interest to a wide range of scholars and practitioners who work on issues of ethnocultural diversity and social policy. (shrink)
The literature on multiculturalism currently splits parties into two camps : those favorable to the uniform treatment of cultural differences and those favorable to their differential treatment. Brian Barry, perhaps of the most influential present supporters of the first camp, has recently developed a severe criticism of the second approach. I intend in this paper to examine the scope and limits of Barry’s own uniform treatment approach. First, I will present the grounds Barry has for supporting it. Second, I (...) will examine one of its most important difficulties, that of excluding the particular treatment of cultural differences on the grounds that they are a matter of choice. (shrink)
As one of the characteristics of the nowadays postmodernism, the multiculturalism and the globalization seems to be profoundly related to the heterogenity and to the heteronomy. Globalization is going with the multiculturalism, but in an opposite direction: globalization towards the standardization and multiculturalismtowards fragmentation. Is the Global Village also the Postmodern Village?
This volume explores the different ways that ethnic and religious diversity is conceptualized and debated in South and East Asia. In the first few decades following decolonization, talk of multiculturalism and pluralism was discouraged, as states attempted to consolidate themselves as unitary and homogenizing nation-states. Today, however, it is widely recognized that states in the region must come to terms with the enduring reality of ethnic and religious cleavages, and find new ways of accommodating and respecting diversity. As a (...) result, many countries are now debating policies to accommodate minorities, including recognition of indigenous rights, minority language rights, consociational power-sharing, regional autonomy, and multination federalism. This is often described as a key ingredient in any process of democratization in the region. -/- One manifestation of this new ethos is the growing rhetoric of 'multiculturalism', often imported from the West. And indeed Western models of minority rights have had an influence in many Asian countries, often promoted by international organizations. However, Asian societies also have their own traditions of peaceful coexistence amongst linguistic and religious groups. All of the major ethical and religious traditions in the region - from Confucian and Buddhist to Islamic and Hindu - have their own conceptions of tolerance, and their own recipes for sustaining unity amidst diversity. These traditions continue to shape people's beliefs and practices in the region. Even the distinctive conception of Marxism developed in the region provides an influential perspective on these issues not found in the West. The rhetoric of 'multiculturalism' may be ubiquitous around the world, but it is being used to express quite different ideas and norms. -/- Using both case studies and thematic essays, this volume examines the pre-colonial traditions, colonial legacies, and post-colonial ideologies that influence contemporary debates on multiculturalism in the region. It explores the areas of convergence and divergence between these different perspectives, and the extent to which they provide viable frameworks for managing ethnic and religious diversity in the region. (shrink)
It is generally believed that through one-person one vote the diverse groups within society would be integrated into a shared identity. But the multiculturalists- Kymlicka, Parekh, Taylor, Young- argue that in well established democracies, some groups like African-American, indigenous peoples, ethnic and religious minorities and women feel marginalized and as a remedy, propose measures that the political system could mirror the distinct cultural identity of the different people. The critics of multiculturalism- Miller, Barry- argue that Liberalism accommodates cultural plurality (...) and stresses on the need for shared identity and common public space, which multiculturalism overlooks. (shrink)
The paper treats about the relation between ideas of democracy and justice produced by a leading American political philosopher - John Rawls and ideology of multiculturalism. The author tries to show that Rawls’ arguments cannot meet the expectations of partisans of the ideology in question because they are very much Western or ethnocentric at the bottom. He argues that such a predicament is not to be lamented about because to be Western or ethnocentric when Euro-American culture is at stake (...) is not something bad. On the contrary, being true to the some ideas of Western culture, especially these ones that are connected with individualism, human rights and liberal democracy, is worthy of acceptation. The conclusion of his paper says that the ideology of multiculturalism can be accepted only in its moderate forms and should be rejected in its extreme forms. It means that the limit of approval of multiculturalism lies at the political level and is connected with the relation of this ideology to the core political values of the Western culture. (shrink)
This paper starts by acknowledging that pragmatists agree with multiculturalists when they assert that individuals are grounded in local communities that give rise to different ways of seeing the world. Where pragmatists part company with many multiculturalists, however, is in our willingness to carry through with the logic entailed in this claim. When pragmatists assert that all ways of knowing are situated, we mean fully situated. In our view, multiculturalists can ask their auditors to celebrate or tolerate differences, but they (...) cannot claim to be multicultural (in the strongest sense of that word) because they necessarily read, write and think from a set of provincial assumptions not global ones. The conclusion a pragmatist draws from this is simple: Multicultural discourse (whether it be conservative, liberal or radical) will always be biased and limited because its knowledge claims are necessarily grounded in a historical and local context that guarantees a limited understanding of ofher cultures. (shrink)
I attempt to present Merleau-Ponty here as one of the West’s first multiculturalists. He developed his characteristically balanced position some forty to fifty years ago, and he managed to do so without completely abandoning Western claims of rational justification. What he does abandon is a preestablished reason and its claim to absolute certainty. For Merleau-Ponty, rationality always remains to be established and always remains partial and incomplete. Yet his position does not fall into the skepticism and relativism of most of (...) the postmodernist philosophies that have developed since his death in 1961, that have developed without a full appreciation of the explanatory power of his writings. (shrink)
Radio, television, film, and the other products of media culture provide materials out of which we forge our very identities; our sense of selfhood; our notion of what it means to be male or female; our sense of class, of ethnicity and race, of nationality, of sexuality; and of "us" and "them." Media images help shape our view of the world and our deepest values: what we consider good or bad, positive or negative, moral or evil. Media stories provide (...) the symbols, myths, and resources through which we constitute a common culture and through the appropriation of which we insert ourselves into this culture. Media spectacles demonstrate who has power and who is powerless, who is allowed to exercise force and violence, and who is not. They dramatize and legitimate the power of the forces that be and show the powerless that they must stay in their places or be oppressed. (shrink)
Multiculturalism requires sustained and serious philosophical reflection, which in turn requires public outreach and communication. This piece briefly outlines concerns raised by the philosophy of multiculturalism and, conversely, multiculturalism in philosophy, which ultimately force us to reconsider the philosopher’s own role and responsibility. I conclude with a provocative suggestion of philosophy as /public diplomacy/. (As this is intended to be a piece for a general audience, secondary literature is only referred to in the conclusion. References gladly provided (...) upon request.). (shrink)
This book makes a significant contribution to the contemporary debate about multiculturalism and democratic theory. It reflects upon the ways in which claims about culture and identity are advanced by immigrants, national minorities, aboriginals, and other groups. It argues that liberal democrats should provide recognition and support for minority cultures and identities, and examines case studies from a number of different societies to show how theorists can learn about justice.
This paper advances the concept of transversality by drawing philosophical insights from Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Calvin O. Schrag, and the Martinicuan francophone Edouard Glissant. By so doing, it attempts to deconstruct the notion of universality in modern Western philosophy. It begins with a critique of the notion of Eurocentric universality which is founded on the fallacious premise that what is particular in the West is made universal, whereas whereas what is particular in the non-West remains particular forever. Eurocentric Universality has no (...) place in the globalization of the multicultural world. It simply ignores the reality of interlacing of multiple life-worlds. The concept of transversality, whose icon is the Maitreyan Middle Way, is proposed to replace universality. It not only reduced ethnocentric particularism but also fosters a hybridity that in fact dissolves the binary opposition between particularism and universalism. In short, transversality is conceived of as a radically new paradigm in philosophical conceptualization or world philosophy. (shrink)
This article starts by setting out the evaluative criteria provided by Will Kymlicka's liberal account of individual freedom and equality. Kymlicka's theory of cultural minority rights is then analysed using these criteria and found to be defective in two respects. First, his assignment of different rights to national and ethnic groups is shown to be inegalitarian with regard to generations after the first. Second, his recommendation of strong cultural protections is shown in some circumstances to undermine freedom and equality. Towards (...) the end of the article a policy of gradual and inclusive assimilation is described that may effectively promote the freedom and opportunities of members of cultural minorities. In conclusion, group-specific rights may, as Kymlicka says, be justified in liberal terms, but only where they differ in content from those he proposes. (shrink)
It is being argued, in this article, that multicultural education is subversive because it challenges the assumed inevitability and superiority of the dominant culture by presenting alterna-tives to it. For multicultural education to be subversive, however, culture has to be understood as an order of things mapped across truth and power axis Ã la Foucault. These order of things are sup-pressed by the dominant culture in order to maintain its hegemony. It is being further argued that with the help of (...) Foucault's genealogy we can understand how multicultural education can liberate subjugated order of things. (shrink)