Multiculturalism: A Challenge to Two Myths of Liberalism

Race, Gender and Class 3 (1):27-48 (1995)
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This paper sketches a brief account of multiculturalism in order to distinguish it from other positions that have been under attack recently. Following this, we address two prevalent and diametrically opposed criticisms of multiculturalism, namely, that multiculturalism is relativistic, on the one hand, and that it is absolutist, on the other. Both of these criticisms, we argue, simply mask liberal democratic theory's myth- begotten attempt to resolve the tension between the one and the many. Multiculturalism challenges the myths of meritocracy and abstract individualism which underlie liberalism; properly understood, it evades the criticisms often hurled at it.



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Shelley M. Park
University of Central Florida

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