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)
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)
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)
Se nella verità c’è il riferimento a qualcosa di “assoluto” e di “intemporale”, nel relativismo si esprime la mutevolezza del contingente, di modo che la realtà oggettiva e il senso soggettivo risultino separati sin dall’origine. L’aspetto più inquietante della cultura contemporanea stà nell’inimicizia concettuale tra l’io e la verità, con delle conseguenze nella concezione della libertà. Questa, concepita come autonomia dell’individuo, si capovolge nella sottomissione degli individui allo Stato – visto come verità – che offre loro legittimità, dando loro letteralmente (...) l’«essere». La verità dell’io si trasforma nella volontà generale e la libertà del singolo viene a coincidere con sua appartenenza al corpo dello Stato, di modo che il rapporto dell’io e della verità può e deve realizzarsi solo in forma politica. La permanenza di identità e comunità religiose all’interno di un’orizzonte culturale laico fa che il «discorso» religioso nel dibattito pubblico sia considerato una possibile proposta di razionalità. Più di una mera tolleranza dello Stato in ordine alla libertà religiosa, si tratta di un primo livello di integrazione cognitiva delle ragioni religiose nella razionalità laica, nell’ambito dell’etica. Quando si passa alla considerazione delle «verità» diverse, riguardo all’io e al mondo, c’è una asimmetria della verità metafisica e religiosa rispetto ad una semplice visione etica del mondo. Palavras-chave : Multiculturalismo, Stato, Libertà, relativismo, fondamentalismo Resumo Se na verdade existe algo de absoluto e de intemporal, no relativismo expressa-se a mutabilidade do contingente, de modo que a realidade objetiva e o sentido subjetivo se tornam separados desde a origem. O aspecto mais inquietante da cultura contemporânea se encontra na inimizade conceitual entre o eu e a verdade, com conseqüências na concepção da liberdade. Esta, concebida como autonomia do indivíduo, se inverte na submissão dos indivíduos ao Estado – visto como verdade – que lhes oferece legitimidade, dando-lhes literalmente o “ser”. A verdade do eu se transforma na vontade geral e a liberdade do singular passa a coincidir com seu pertencimento ao corpo do Estado, de modo que a relação entre o eu e a verdade pode e deve se realizar apenas na forma política. A permanência de identidades e comunidades religiosas no interior de um horizonte cultural laico faz com que o discurso religioso no debate público seja considerado uma proposta possível de racionalidade. Mais do que uma mera tolerância do Estado com relação à liberdade religiosa, trata-se de um primeiro nível de integração cognitiva das razões religiosas na racionalidade laica, no âmbito da ética. Quando se passa a considerações de verdade diferentes, com relação ao eu e ao mundo, existe uma assimetria da verdade metafísica e religiosa em relação a uma simples visão ética do mundo. Palavras-chave : Multiculturalismo, Estado, Liberdade, relativismo, fundamentalismo. ABSTRACT If indeed there is something timeless and absolute, the mutability of the contingent is expressed in relativism, in a way that objective reality and subjective sense become separated from their origin. The most disturbing aspect of contemporary culture lays is in the conceptual enmity between the self and the truth, with consequences in the conception of freedom. When such freedom is taken as individual autonomy, it becomes itself in the submission of individuals to the state which is always seen as the truth that gives them legitimacy. The truth of the self becomes in the general will and the freedom of the individual happens to belong to the body of the state, so that the relationship between the self and the truth can and should be performed only in political form. The permanence of identities and religious communities within a secular cultural horizon makes the religious discourse in public debate a possible proposal of rationality. More than mere tolerance of the state relating to religious freedom, this is a first level of cognitive integration of religious reasons within secular rationality under ethics. When it comes to considerations other than truth, about the self and the world, there is an asymmetry of the metaphysical and religious truth with regard to a simple ethical vision of the world. Key words : Multiculturalism, State, Freedom, relativism, fundamentalism. (shrink)
Syncretism is a term which, in comparative religion, refers to a process of religious mixture, of heterogeneous blending of faiths and beliefs. Therefore it represents an aspect of religious interaction over time. Syncretism is an interesting, though evasive, concept. It may be seen negatively as a distortion of absolute Truth. It may be seen positively as a sign of tolerance. In each these cases, it must be identified in discourse. Syncretism in seventeenth-century Europe and multiculturalism in the United States (...) today belong to a discourse of tolerance and communal har- mony. This is also valid in the Indian case. I consider the situation specific to the plural culture of India. (shrink)
The case of the opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage in Canada is an example of the limits of what will and will not be tolerated in the name of multiculturalism. This case offers an interesting perspective on the topic of multiculturalism, because it deals with a conflict between those seeking to expand human rights and those seeking to prevent such expansion because of their adherence to a particular set of cultural and religious beliefs. Despite Canada’s commitment to recognizing (...) and encouraging diversity within its population, the demands of the opponents of same-sex marriage were not accommodated. Heeding the opponents of same-sex marriage would have amounted to violating the deeper commitment to individual rights and human rights as interpreted by the Charter. Multiculturalism in Canada is a concept that is situated within an underlying adherence to these core values. (shrink)
Social justice has been a central normative component of U.S. social welfare and social work for over a century, although the meaning and implications of the term have often been ambiguous. A major source of this ambiguity lies in the conflict between universalist views of social justice and those which focus on achieving justice for specific groups. This conflict has been masked by several long-standing assumptions about the relationship between social justice and multiculturalism – assumptions which have been challenged (...) by recent developments. The assumption that the pursuit of social justice requires the creation of a more egalitarian society has been challenged by the new political-economic realities of globalization. The assumption that the maintenance of individual rights complements the pursuit of social equality has been challenged by racially-based attacks on social welfare benefits and civil rights. Most significantly, the assumption that a socially just society is one in which different groups share a compatible vision of social justice has been challenged by the realities of multiculturalism. This paper explores the evolution of four themes regarding the relationship between social justice and multiculturalism during the past century and discusses their implications for the contemporary demographic and cultural context of the U.S. These themes are: the relationship of cultural diversity to the nation’s values and goals; the contradiction between coerced cultural assimilation and coerced physical and social segregation; the relationship between individual and group identity and rights; and the linkage between “Americanization” and the equal application of justice. (shrink)
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)
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)
In applied health care research, an essentialised notion of culture is often used when studying ethnic disparities in health and health care access between the majority populations of Western countries and migrants, with ethnic backgrounds that differ from majority population. This notion of culture, however, is considered highly problematic in anthropology and ethnic studies. Therefore, in our research on Dutch illness certification practices, we employed a dynamic conceptualisation of culture. Our research shows that, in practice, when clients fail to meet (...) the implicit norms of this practice, doctors ascribe this nonconformity differently when the client is a migrant than when he or she is a Dutch client. More specifically, when migrants fail to meet the norms, doctors are inclined to automatically ascribe this nonconformity to the assumed cultural background of the client. Consequently, these doctors feel less able to use the tools they normally use to coach their clients. This, in turn, results in more problematic and longer reintegration trajectories for migrants in comparison to Dutch clients in similar circumstances. In other words, framing the problems of migrants in terms of culture results in greater sick leave rates for migrants than for Dutch people. Clearly, culturalistic perspectives on ethnic differences have negative consequences. We therefore implore the application of a dynamic notion of culture in applied research. (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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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”.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Among the many interesting problems considered in this book, I will center my commentary on two issues: (1) on the role of narrative reconstructions as an alternative to objectivist accounts of culture; (2) on the implications of her proposed reformulation of discourse ethics as interactive universalism for the dilemmas of multiculturalism. On the question of the dialogical-narrative reconstructions of identity, a combination of perspectives of participants as well as of external observers is suggested, instead of a shift from the (...) latter to the former. On the more difficult question of the political, legal and moral implications for democratic theory of forms of rational accommodation of cultural differences, I will consider the problem of justification of morality under conditions not only of radical cultural differences but of asymmetries in power and resources among the participants, which seem to present a problem for a model that presupposes a cooperative engagement and free uncoerced consent from all involved. (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.
A growing number of nurse researchers travel globally to conduct research in poor and underserved populations in developing nations. These researchers, while well versed in research ethics, often find it difficult to apply traditional ethical standards to populations in developing countries. The problem of applying ethical standards across cultures is explained by a long-standing debate about the nature of ethical principles. Fundamentalism is the philosophical stance that ethical principles are universal, while the anthropologically-based ‘multicultural’ model claims the philosophical position that (...) principles are culturally bound. The authors explicate the two philosophical stances and advocate a morally sensitive but moderate position of ‘ethical multiculturalism’ rather than favouring either of the above philosophical positions. The final section suggests ways to promote ethical multiculturalism while planning and conducting nursing research. (shrink)
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.