Multiculturalism

Core ideas and Principles

Multiculturalism deals with the increased migration and cultural diversity in modern societies, viewed as a  main theme of C.21. MC is based on the belief that humans see and understood the world within a system of values they're brought up in, Diversity should be stressed in society through respecting each other's cultures in order to achieve modern social cohesion. The Parekh report (2000) commissioned by Blair's gov. proposed the idea of community of communities in order to tackle racism and inequality in wider society.

  • Acts of recognition play an important role in people's lives, they can radically shape how people act and feel in society - ten taxi cabs refused ti stip for an African Professor on his way home. The politics of recognition underpins this idea of recognition altering people's experiences in society, recognising cultural identities, particularly minority groups, is important in ensuring these groups don't feel discriminated against - aiming for formal equality for all (everyone is entitled to legal and political equality~ as suggested by Aristotle). Those who are different are marginalised against, Taylor argues this principle stresses equal dignity etc.
  • Equal dignity ensures all members of society have innate rights to be valued and respected, no second-class citizens - as suggested by Luther King Jr - on the basis of common humanity, all citizens are entitled to the same rights. ED banned public discrimination, provided integration in education and made employment discrimination illegal. This cannot tackle cultural oppression, equal recognition ensures all cultures are respected the same.
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Core ideas and Principles

  • Equal recognition is the idea of identity and how a new form of second-class citizen has been introduced, still feels like an outsider. Their identity is crucial in knowing who they are, and this is formed in diologue, misrecognising someone's identity (stereotyping, discriminating) is oppressive and harms individuals, recognition is not just a courtesy, but a human need. State policies are neccessary in ensuring each culture can flourish, including minorities in laws will help them achieve equal standing with the majority - become first-class citizens. The fair treatment of cultural practices allow these groups to feel part of the community.
  • Confidence in one's own culturem with positive recognition from society give people a sense of belogning to society, negative conceptions can lead to rejection - Cultural Politics:
    • Communitarianism, as set out by individualistic liberalism, where individuals isolated cannot be understood by the rest of society, Taylor argues this undermines society through elevation of the individual, but Parekh argues that people are culturally embedded in what they grew up in, which provides them with a sense of meaning - something so significant for their identity or moral code, the state shouldn't force people to act against this.
    • A lot of contemporary politcs is based around politics of identity, something at the heart of political action (as highlighted by Rawls) citizens are all essentially similar - individuals are oppressed due to their membership of a minority social group and may suffer from sterotyping - one single identity to a group. The minority group is targetted and oppression can only be overcome through group efforts (African Americans turned 'black' into a positive statement of pride and power). Whilst racism was once associated with colour, British Asians have found it surrounds stereotyping and attack on an aspect of their culture. However, this causes a form of cultural balkanisation (emergence of competing cultures) and the desire for cultural authenticity means groups are emphasising their differences rather than trying to find common ground.
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Core ideas and Principles

  • Minority rights address the needs of specific groups by grantign special rights in accordance to the different needs of  a culture, MCs promote this as a way for diverse cultures to live together in a liberal society, w/o imposing their values on each other. Liberals argue that individuals will only co-operate if the state remains neutral, key principles of a liberal state is tolerance and seperation of church and state - however, minority rights can be achieved within lib. framework
    • States have granted formal equality and have anti-discrimination laws in place that don't ensure equality for minority groups, most societies have a dominant culture and the state will place some cultures above others (languages - billingual education banned in Cali "98). The liberl ste must allocate group differenciated rights.
    • Cultures crucially meet the liberal objectives of freedom and autonomy, allowing the idividual to acknowledge their own beliefs and convictions, group differentiated rights promote this - allow people to be free in society, feel more integrated.
    • Minority rights may be a way of countering minority groups' oppression as their cultural identities are misrecognised, as their are unequal power relations between the majority and minorities, they may feel unjustified in their anger.
  • Kymlica argues that group differentiated rights will protect minority groups and provide for their needs.
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Group Differentiated Rights

  • Self government Rights meet the claims for political autonomy and territorial control - Native Americans in the USA whose rights are justified on their historical disadvantages, being colonised, and reflects the will of the group membership, territorially concentrated.
  • Polyethnic rights are policy resposes to demands of immigrant groups wishing to maintain their cultural identity, such as anti-racism laws and changes to the curriculum.
  • Representation Rights use positive discrimination to tackle historical exclusion from public life, Like the affirmative action in disadvantaged cultures.

Minority rights have been highly contreversial 

  • Affirmative action is a form of reverse discrimination, measures send the messae success is due to representation rights rather than hardwork and ability. Arguably discriminates against the majority in providing preferencial treatment for certain groups over others.
  • Minority rights isolate groups, creating inward-looking views alongside strong divisions in the state, immigtant communities focus more on the country that they left rather than their new country, some symbols of culture have been associated with difference, not expression.
  • Minority rights contradict indiviudual rights, how a liberal state reacts to an illiberal culture restructing individual rights or freedome of members, some argue that banning minority women's distinct clothing protects their freedoms while others see this as projecting an oppressive stereotype of Muslim women, cultural misrecognition.
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Diversity

This has become a fact of life for many countries with globalisation and migration, the non-white population of Northern Eastern cotoes is growing, between 15 and 30%, with diverse religions and ethnic terms. Multiculturalism, arguably, offers the best platform for a shared community of diversity - Parekh argues that it helps to find ways to reconcile diversity and unity - a individual wont be fully committed to a comunity unless they are committed to recognising their identity. All policies and political structures must value difference and identity - to ensure a sense of identity.

However conservatives have argued that political unity can only be achieved with cultural uniformity, through either expelling ethnic and cultural minorities to restore and original culture (something deeply unjust) and minorities must be encouraged to confrom to dominant culture in order to create a strong homogenised national identity, in other words, assimilation.

Yet most MC believe this conformity doesn't respect identity, as it will lead to a sense of alienation and inequality among minority group, breaking down the harmony of the state. Diversity is possibly as it benefits wider society, with new ideas leading to creativity and energy in society - as opposed to stagnate societies that reject diversity or change. Diversity also encourages creative discussion between cultures and and their moral visions encouraging tolerance for difference that form the basis for political unity.

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Liberal Multiculturalism

A broad ideology endorsing cultural diversity, simlar to tolerance and personal autonomy within a liberal framework, promoting civic unity. Born from the pers. of individual freedom and choice

  • The state should not promote any particular view or belief, it is difference blind and treats personal and community cultures so there is a clear distinction between private (minorities can fully culivate their identites through relgion or language) and public spheres (all are treated as equal and autonomous members of society, all speaking the official language of that country). Indiviudualist integration, adjustments for minorities as only claimants and bearers of equal rights, social cohesion - minority communities are not recognised. France- priciple of laicite, strict seperation of the chyrch and state, banning niqab and burqa in all public places.
  • Tolerance is the the willingness to accept others valus and beliefs, suppressing what you disprove of through removal of choice allowing freedom and autonomy for all individuals. Tolerance can only be extended to cultures, keeping with the rules of a liberal state.
  • A liberal democracy is regarded as the only legitimate political model as argued by Berlin, based on consent of the governed to uphold diversity and provide formal equality and freedom of choice. Some have argued g-d rights are compatable with lib democracy if they promote justice, as with the justifications of politics or recognition - thus supporting multicultural integration, recognition of difference and argueing for further formal equality. Group differentiated rights can inly apply to groups  allowing members to question and adapt these practices.
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Pluralist Multiculturalism

Diversity is a calue in its own right, all cultures are worthy of respect and recognition, moves beyond the liberal version where diversiyt extends to liberal cultures as PM reject the view of liberal values being universal as all cultures deserve respect.

  • Berlin's value pluralism is supported, as many values come into conflict with each other as there is no absolute conception of the good life and there is no way to resolve these conlifcts.
  • However other pluralists go even further, Parekh defends diversity as humans are culturally embedded and this cannot be forced away, different cultures have different meaning for the good life, each culture needs to understand each other through cultural diologue in order to access a richer life.
  • Liberalism can only offer a narrow vision of the good life and cannot provide a sole basis for all.

PM advocate for multiculturalist integration, the state should accomodate for the presence of new and existing groups and group-differenciated rights can protect their identities, Aome also argue that a continuous review of national identity is need, previously identities linked to nationalism have been seen as exlusionary, however, identities and national stoires should ememerge out of debate an discussion between groups expand their horizons, emerging identity will become inclusive.

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Cosmopolitan MC

CM beleive identities are fluid and in a globalised world, people no longer accept rigid national idenities, supports cosmopolitan integration entailing maximum freedom for minorities and majorities, cultures can learn from each other and interact with each other. The growth of social mixing and cultural sharing leads to the dissolving of old identities and multiple identities emerge as people associate themselves with different heritages. Individuals develop fluid identities and are opposed to belonging to one particular culture, carry a cosmopolitan citizenship. 

Key difference between this form of Multi. and others is that is a challenge to communitarianism and individuals being culturally embedded, culture is a matter of choice and based on challenging needs and situtation, however, this pick and mic nature is seen as inauthentic, weaking a sense of belinging, something possibly damaging for individual and for society.

Modood argues for this sense of national identity, strong multicultural identities are relatively good and should be recognised as integral to society, they are no intrinsically divisive but complement the vibarant national narrative giving expresiion to national identity.

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Conservative Criticism

Conservatives argue that MC has led to people from different cultural groups leading seperate lives, they believe humans are limitited and dependent and naturally fear diversity, gravitating towards those who share their values. A stable society comes from a common culture but MC is based on recognition and celebration of difference, directly clashing with human nature as there is no diversity in unity. Some MC societies lead to segregation with immigration raising the concern around national identities.

CC argue multiculturalism will lead to a resentment amongs majority population, trating all cultures as equal may damage the community, French President arguing that people are too concerned with identity rather than the identity of the country.

 They're also deeply suspicious of multiculturalist integration, arguing that unity can only be reached through the process of assimilation, with a stronng, homogenised national identity.

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