Other ideological traditions: Multiculturalism

HideShow resource information
Preview of Other ideological traditions: Multiculturalism

First 530 words of the document:

Origins and Development
As an ideological and political doctrine, multiculturalism started rising in popularity in
conjunction with the black consciousness movements of the 1960s, particularly in the USA.
While these movements had their own origins in the `back to Africa' movement started
earlier in the century, inspired by figures such as Marcus Garvey, they had only really come
to prominence, in both their reformist and revolutionary wings during the 60s. The reformist
stance was characterised by the `politics of integration' espoused by Martin Luther King Jr.
and the peaceful protest campaigners such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
and other organisations, while the revolutionary elements of the movement were led by
organisations such as the Black Panther Party, which were influenced by political Marxism
and advocated violent confrontation of racism, primarily in selfdefence. This was organised
through their campaigns such as Patrol the Pigs, that they set up to monitor and oppose
institutional racism on the streets, as well as through their establishment of independent
healthcare and schooling services they emphasised black control over their own
communities, and at the extreme end, black separatism which has mainly been supported by
the Nation of Islam, formerly the Black Muslims.
The later 60s and 70s saw a growing political consciousness amongst minority groups, such
as the French speaking citizens of Quebec, the rise in support of the progressive nationalism
of the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru in the UK and the spread of separatist
movements in Spanish regions such as Basque and Catalonia, as well as a growing ethnic
assertiveness amongst the Native Americans, as in the case of the 1969 Occupation of
Alcatraz Island as well as a growing demand for rights from the Maoris of New Zealand and
the Aboriginal people in Australia.
The common aim amongst these thriving movements was the desire to challenge social &
economic disadvantage that led to engrained racial & cultural oppression. It was therefore a
creed of political liberation in the face of structural and societal inequality. For the African
Americans in the US, the aim was the recognition of pride in their own cultural heritage,
something which to them had been demeaned and subjugated by a dominant white culture
that continued to demand subservience long after the dissolution of great empires had
Postwar immigration fuelled the increasing adoption of multiculturalist policies as it widened
the cultural diversity in many societies. The rise in immigration was the result of people from
former colonies coming to Western states at the behest of their former colonial masters, who
needed an increased workforce to see through the process of postwar reconstruction. In
Britain, the majority came from the Indian subcontinent and the West Indies, while in
continental countries such as France many arrived from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
The term `hypermobile' planet has been used to describe the steep intensification of
crossborder migration that erupted in the 1990s for two reasons. Firstly, because of the

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

USSR which sparked fighting across the in places such as IndoChina,
Rwanda, Bangladesh and Algeria and secondly because of the intensified pressures for a
global, mobile workforce due to the spread of economic globalisation.
Virtually all of the states within the European Union incorporated policies that adopted a
positive stance towards multiculturalism in the early years following the turn of the
millennium, as most recognised that the existence of multiethnic and multicultural societies
are now an irreversible fact of political life in a global age.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

Politics of recognition
In common with socialists and feminists, multiculturalists are characterised by a need and
desire to advance the social positions of what they deem to be marginalised groups,
primarily through significant changes to political institutions and their practices. However,
as opposed to previous doctrines advocating social advancement, they have developed
their own approach, contrasting those of the `politics of redistribution' and the `politics
of rights'.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

German nationalism initially advocated by the philosopher Herder, however since
multiculturalism's spread as a political creed cultural politics has been reassessed
and shaped by primarily two aspects: communitarianism and identity politics.
First developed as a philosophical attack against the universalism propagated by
liberals, communitarianism proposed an ideological shift from universalism to
particularism, thereby stressing the distinctive cultural nature of each group.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

This would include Native Americans, Inuits in Canada, the New
Zealand Maoris and the aboriginal people of Australia. The most practical and
widespread way to legislate for selfgovernment rights is generally accepted to
be a form of devolution, such as the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh &
Northern Ireland assemblies that were brought into existence by the New
Labour government following their election in 1997.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

Denmark in 2006. Given such developments, some states, such as the UK,
have adopted laws explicitly banning religious hatred.
Finally, minority rights are a tool to tackle social injustice such the
underrepresentation of minorities in certain aspects of public life like higher
education.…read more

Page 7

Preview of page 7

Here's a taster:

Surprisingly for some, there can be drawn a lot of common ground between nationalism and
multiculturalism, as they both place large amounts of emphasis on the ability for us to express
our adherence to our cultural identity in the society that we live as a key aspect of what
makes a cohesive and stable society.…read more

Page 8

Preview of page 8

Here's a taster:

However, critics have pointed
out that they are only tolerant of those beliefs that are compatible with tolerance itself,
and therefore liberal multiculturalism is unable to foster `deep diversity'.
The second feature of liberal multiculturalism is that, like liberal feminism, draws a
distinction between `public' and `private' areas of people's lives.…read more

Page 9

Preview of page 9

Here's a taster:

For John Gray, this showed that pluralism was in actual
fact a postliberal stance as liberalism is no longer seen as the doctrine that could
claim a monopoly of legitimacy.
Bhikhu Parekh advanced an alternative form of pluralism. In this view human identity
is formed in a similar way, not from merely sharing a common physical and mental
structure but also from the attitudes and behaviours that permeate the culture of the
social groups that we belong to.…read more

Page 10

Preview of page 10

Here's a taster:

Instead of being a cultural mosaic as pluralists would imagine due to
the fluid nature of culture society would ultimately be a cultural `melting pot', where
the interaction of each different cultural groups would lead to the emergence of a
hybrid `one world' perspective.
Rival multiculturalists have attacked this position by claiming that by encouraging
cultural mixing it will blur one's understanding of their own identity and therefore
weaken cultural cohesion.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »See all resources »