What is Multiculturalism?
Malory Nye
1/ malorynye.com
The Challenges of Multiculturalism
 What is multiculturalism?
 How is it important?
 Where are we going with it?
 The ...
Basic issues of multiculturalism
 not a ‘thing’ but a process
 unavoidable
 contextual
 not about celebrating diversit...
What is multiculturalism?
particular way of thinking and talking about
difference
 recognising differences
 observing di...
What is multiculturalism?
Some basic components
 difference
 minorities
 equality
 social justice
 rights (individual...
Multiculturalism
Key distinctions to make:
 Multiculturalism as a social issue
 Ideology of multiculturalism
 Academic ...
Multiculturalism
 Social issue
A descriptor:
 about numbers (how many/what proportion make a
multicultural society?)
 s...
Multiculturalism
 Ideology
An issue for contest (e.g. anti-multiculturalism)
Often perceived as a left wing, anti-nationa...
Multiculturalism
 Academic study of multicultural societies
Does not need to be an ideology
Although some writers (eg Wer...
What is multiculturalism?
Multiculturalism about changes
 questioning idea of culture and nation (and
religion)
 need to...
Some academic reflections on the
concept of multiculturalism
malorynye.com 11
What is multiculturalism?
Yunus Samad
‘...multiculturalism has different implications and
meanings depending on its social...
What is multiculturalism?
Pnina Werbner
‘multiculturalism is ultimately not a matter of theory,
even critical theory, but ...
Nation, culture, and multiculturalism
C.W. Watson:
‘…multiculturalism is debated in the context
of what is alleged to be a...
What is multiculturalism?
Stuart Hall
multicultural
Describes the social characteristics and problems of governance
posed ...
Gerd Baumann, Multicultural Riddle
religion
ethnicity
nationalism
‘culture’ in the middle?
malorynye.com 16
Gerd Baumann
nation:
 home—land—blood; to belong is to be
something rooted in a place
ethnicity:
 also bound up with not...
Gerd Baumann
Baumann points out that
 all of these are seen as based on fixed
ultimate criteria
 but all in fact fluid, ...
Develop this further…
religion
ethnicity
nationalism
gender
malorynye.com 19
What multicultural studies is about:
 Differences
 (looking at, perceiving, and recognising differences)
 Relations of ...
Challenges of Multiculturalism
all multicultural contexts are
 specific
 temporary and liable to change
 have tensions ...
Challenges of Multiculturalism
A successful and functioning multicultural society
is not one solely premised on concepts o...
Challenges of Multiculturalism
 Need for a common ground and common
space
 common nationality and citizenship.
 concept...
Challenges of Multiculturalism
 Multiculturalism is not only about celebrating
difference, but also celebrating unity.
th...
Challenges of multiculturalism
Common ground – where should it be?
 language
 identity
 dress code
 values
 residence...
Summary
 It is important to recognise that
multiculturalism is not a new phenomenon,
even though the terminology is new.
...
Summary
 Multiculturalism is not only about difference, and is
misunderstood when it is pursued as a policy for
separatin...
Summary
 At the heart of multiculturalism is the urgent
need for the management of diversity at all
levels, and education...
Summary
 Multiculturalism not only requires a toleration
of others
 It also necessitates finding ways of mutual
cooperat...
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Malory Nye Introduction to Multiculturalism

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An introduction to multiculturalism and cultural diversity

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Malory Nye Introduction to Multiculturalism

  1. 1. What is Multiculturalism? Malory Nye 1/ malorynye.com
  2. 2. The Challenges of Multiculturalism  What is multiculturalism?  How is it important?  Where are we going with it?  The ‘death of multiculturalism’?  A recipe for disaster? malorynye.com 2
  3. 3. Basic issues of multiculturalism  not a ‘thing’ but a process  unavoidable  contextual  not about celebrating diversity – facing challenges  not laissez faire  state management of differences  respect for differences and common ground  majority and minority (or migrant) issue malorynye.com 3
  4. 4. What is multiculturalism? particular way of thinking and talking about difference  recognising differences  observing differences  tolerating differences  actively engaging differences malorynye.com 4
  5. 5. What is multiculturalism? Some basic components  difference  minorities  equality  social justice  rights (individual and group) malorynye.com 5
  6. 6. Multiculturalism Key distinctions to make:  Multiculturalism as a social issue  Ideology of multiculturalism  Academic study of multicultural societies malorynye.com 6
  7. 7. Multiculturalism  Social issue A descriptor:  about numbers (how many/what proportion make a multicultural society?)  situation where differences are perceived  social and state responses to difference malorynye.com 7
  8. 8. Multiculturalism  Ideology An issue for contest (e.g. anti-multiculturalism) Often perceived as a left wing, anti-nationalist ideology Often aimed at social stability, equality, social harmony / co-existence malorynye.com 8
  9. 9. Multiculturalism  Academic study of multicultural societies Does not need to be an ideology Although some writers (eg Werbner) argue that academic study is often ideologically motivated malorynye.com 9
  10. 10. What is multiculturalism? Multiculturalism about changes  questioning idea of culture and nation (and religion)  need to look at changes to minority (ethnic, religious, cultural) groups  but also the wider ‘majority’ and ‘minorities’, about what makes ‘us’ (whoever that is) ‘us’ malorynye.com 10
  11. 11. Some academic reflections on the concept of multiculturalism malorynye.com 11
  12. 12. What is multiculturalism? Yunus Samad ‘...multiculturalism has different implications and meanings depending on its social, political and disciplinary location. ‘Multiculturalism can be conservative or radical, and social policy based upon it can have different implications and outcomes depending on the context in which cultural difference is negotiated.’ Yunus Samad, ‘The Plural Guises of Multiculturalism’, in The Politics of Multiculturalism, 1997, p.240 malorynye.com 12
  13. 13. What is multiculturalism? Pnina Werbner ‘multiculturalism is ultimately not a matter of theory, even critical theory, but of real politics; there are as many multiculturalisms as there are political arenas for collective action. ... Multiculturalism is always a specific negotiated order and no amount of abstract philosophical or legal reasoning can prescribe a single “just” model.’ Pnina Werbner, ‘Afterword’, in The Politics of Multiculturalism 1997, p.263 malorynye.com 13
  14. 14. Nation, culture, and multiculturalism C.W. Watson: ‘…multiculturalism is debated in the context of what is alleged to be a national culture which defines the special character of the nation. The limits to which multiculturalism can be tolerated are perceived to lie at the boundaries of what constitutes the core of that national culture…’ (Multiculturalism, Open University Press, 2001, p.44) malorynye.com 14
  15. 15. What is multiculturalism? Stuart Hall multicultural Describes the social characteristics and problems of governance posed by any society in which different cultural communities live together and attempt to build a common life while retaining some of their ‘original’ identity multiculturalism the strategies and policies adopted to govern and manage the problems of diversity and multiplicity which multi-cultural societies throw up Stuart Hall, ‘Conclusion: the Multi-cultural question’, in Un/Settled Multiculturalism, ed. B. Hesse (Zed Books, 2000) malorynye.com 15
  16. 16. Gerd Baumann, Multicultural Riddle religion ethnicity nationalism ‘culture’ in the middle? malorynye.com 16
  17. 17. Gerd Baumann nation:  home—land—blood; to belong is to be something rooted in a place ethnicity:  also bound up with notions of ‘blood’ and belonging, but at a closer social level religion:  represented as static and transcendent, whereas more like a sextant malorynye.com 17
  18. 18. Gerd Baumann Baumann points out that  all of these are seen as based on fixed ultimate criteria  but all in fact fluid, changeable, and contingent  elements of IDENTITY which create the ways in which people view and live in their social/ cultural worlds malorynye.com 18
  19. 19. Develop this further… religion ethnicity nationalism gender malorynye.com 19
  20. 20. What multicultural studies is about:  Differences  (looking at, perceiving, and recognising differences)  Relations of difference  (how do different groups interact? what sorts of relations of power are there between groups?)  Ways in which differences (and identities) are perceived  what does it mean to talk of ‘minorities’, ‘cultures’, ‘religious groups’, ‘nations’, etc.? malorynye.com 20
  21. 21. Challenges of Multiculturalism all multicultural contexts are  specific  temporary and liable to change  have tensions built into them  not always peaceful  ‘disruptions’ sometimes unavoidable  imply change  need to be carefully managed malorynye.com 21
  22. 22. Challenges of Multiculturalism A successful and functioning multicultural society is not one solely premised on concepts of diversity.  However, discourses of difference and discourses of respect for difference are prominent in a multicultural society.  Often seen as the ‘problem of multiculturalism’ or its ‘death’ malorynye.com 22
  23. 23. Challenges of Multiculturalism  Need for a common ground and common space  common nationality and citizenship.  concepts of integration – needs a concept of how differences can work on a plural and common level  not only about diversity  e.g. ‘One Scotland Many Cultures’ malorynye.com 23
  24. 24. Challenges of Multiculturalism  Multiculturalism is not only about celebrating difference, but also celebrating unity. the twin elements of a successful multicultural context. That is both of the following:  mutual respect for and acceptance of difference, and  common ground and shared values, as citizens and residents malorynye.com 24
  25. 25. Challenges of multiculturalism Common ground – where should it be?  language  identity  dress code  values  residence  education  citizenship malorynye.com 25
  26. 26. Summary  It is important to recognise that multiculturalism is not a new phenomenon, even though the terminology is new.  The pace and experience of multiculturalism in the twenty-first century is intense and leaves very few societies and countries unaffected. malorynye.com 26
  27. 27. Summary  Multiculturalism is not only about difference, and is misunderstood when it is pursued as a policy for separating and ghettoising particular communities.  Multiculturalism is a process, and such processes are always contextual to particular places and cultural experiences. For example, the experiences of multiculturalism in Britain are unique to that country, and are different from multiculturalism in other countries, such as Canada, Australia, Malaysia or the UAE. malorynye.com 27
  28. 28. Summary  At the heart of multiculturalism is the urgent need for the management of diversity at all levels, and education plays a very significant role within such management.  Therefore multiculturalism is both concerned with the mutual acceptance of, and mutual respect for, difference and the requirement for common ground. malorynye.com 28
  29. 29. Summary  Multiculturalism not only requires a toleration of others  It also necessitates finding ways of mutual cooperation and cultural engagement  Between communities and individuals at all levels of society. malorynye.com 29

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