Paradox of Dignity: Everyday Racism and the Failure of Multiculturalism

Ethik Und Gesellschaft 2 (2010)
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Liberal multiculturalism was introduced to support integration and anti-racism, but everyday racism continues to be a fact of life. This paper analyzes first some frameworks and problems that race and racism raise, and discusses two common liberal approaches for solving the problem of racism: the individualized conception of dignity and the social conception of multiculturalism. I argue that the ontological and epistemological assumptions involved in both of these approaches, coupled with the absence of the political-progressive notion of «race» in Germany, in fact obscure important paths against racism. Lastly I introduce a politico-existential position from Cornel West and conclude that racism should be seen as a failure of a democratic process rather than a problem of race.



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Orientalism.Edward Said - 1978 - Vintage.
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Reification: a new look at an old idea.Axel Honneth - 2008 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Judith Butler, Raymond Geuss, Jonathan Lear & Martin Jay.
Rethinking Multiculturalism.Bhikhu C. Parekh - 2000 - Harvard University Press.

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