Author: Gurpreet Mahajan
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 076199579X
Exploring the reasons why multiculturalism has overtaken pluralism as the dominant concept, this book argues that it has brought the concern for equality in the public domain.
Exploring the reasons why multiculturalism has overtaken pluralism as the dominant concept, this book argues that it has brought the concern for equality in the public domain. While pluralism speaks of the peaceful co-existence of different communities, multiculturalism examines whether diverse cultures and communities co-exist as equals. By pointing out that culture-based discrimination can continue even after legal equality is ensured, multiculturalism has deepened democratic consciousness and awareness of citizenship.
In developing the position, Gurpreet Mahajan explores a variety of extant multicultural alternatives, particularly those with a commitment to reconcile alternatives, particularly those with a commitment to reconcile cultural rights with individual freedom. She starts by elucidating the ideas that define multiculturalism, and then goes on to analyze the concept of differentiated citizenship within which claims for special rights for minorities and marginalized groups are justified. In the process, she highlights the problems presented by the multicultural analysis of cultural discrimination and diversity.
Reflecting upon the feminist and liberal critiques, this book makes a plea for-rethinking the multicultural agenda of protecting and preserving minority cultures. It suggests while differentiated citizenship may promote diversity, it cannot but help stifle within the community. Consequently, the author privileges the principle of non-discrimination and proposes that assertions of cultural community identity should be considered in terms of a ‘right to non-conformist membership’.
This lucid and cogently argued book is clearly an important critique of multiculturalism and a contribution to on-going political and social debates. It will be widely read by political scientists, sociologists, political and social theories, activists, and students of cultural studies and identity.
Introduction: Beyond Pluralism, Towards Multiculturalism
Cultural Discrimination and Community Identity
Valuing Diversity, Preserving Minority Cultures
Citizenship and Group differentiated Rights
Feminism and Multiculturalism
The Limits of Multiculturalism
Responses to the Critics