When did multiculturalism end? Some reflections on
                       useful European mythologies
Reflecting back to look forward?

   What was ‘it’? Multiculturalism as a space to talk
    about race, identity, legitim...
Gilroy in After Empire (2004)
   „The noisy
    announcement of its
    demise is itself a
    political gesture, an act
...
Reflecting back on what?

   Vagueness: a „spongy
    discourse‟, a „grab bag‟

   „Strong‟ and „weak‟

   Rhetoric vs ...
The multiculturalism paradox: not meaning what it
says, not saying what it means
   As empirical reality

   As ideology...
Idioms of crisis:
   Multiculturalism as a single, powerful orthodoxy or doctrine;

   As a doctrine that stifles debate...
Recited multiculturalism:
   …Muslim immigrants bring with them cultural practices and
    even dress codes that are tota...
Cultural racism in the 1990s:
   There is a growing
    propensity in the popular
    mood in Europe to blame all
    the...
The licences of crisis…
The licences of multicultural crisis:
   Racism‟s new alibi: it was partly our fault (the failed
    experiment)

   The...
The culture in multicultural backlash:
                       „Culture was said to be
                        the cause o...
Culture as a mode of governance:

 “Culture is a
 resource…it is being
 invoked to solve
 problems that were
 once the pro...
Expanding multiculturalism?
   Mutual accommodation through collective action

   Multiculturalism that embraces the who...
Racism?
   „If you understand how
    immigration, Islam and
    native European culture
    interact in any Western
    ...
When did multiculturalism end some reflections on useful european mythologies
When did multiculturalism end some reflections on useful european mythologies
When did multiculturalism end some reflections on useful european mythologies
When did multiculturalism end some reflections on useful european mythologies
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When did multiculturalism end some reflections on useful european mythologies

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When did multiculturalism end some reflections on useful european mythologies

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When did multiculturalism end some reflections on useful european mythologies

  1. 1. When did multiculturalism end? Some reflections on useful European mythologies
  2. 2. Reflecting back to look forward?  What was ‘it’? Multiculturalism as a space to talk about race, identity, legitimacy and belonging  Did it actually end? „Integration‟ politics as multiculturalism  Cohesion: If cultural difference was the problem, why is cultural sameness now the answer?
  3. 3. Gilroy in After Empire (2004)  „The noisy announcement of its demise is itself a political gesture, an act of wishful thinking. It is aimed at abolishing any ambition towards plurality and at consolidating the growing sense that it is now illegitimate to believe that multiculture can and should be orchestrated by government in the
  4. 4. Reflecting back on what?  Vagueness: a „spongy discourse‟, a „grab bag‟  „Strong‟ and „weak‟  Rhetoric vs reality  Historical absence, contemporary truth
  5. 5. The multiculturalism paradox: not meaning what it says, not saying what it means  As empirical reality  As ideology or philosophy  As policy or programme  As praxis/governance  As critical discourse  As „code‟ (Adapted from Fleras, Augie [2009] The Politics of Multiculturalism)
  6. 6. Idioms of crisis:  Multiculturalism as a single, powerful orthodoxy or doctrine;  As a doctrine that stifles debate;  As a practice that fostered seperateness  As a refusal of common values  As a form of political correctness that denies problems  As a relativist excuse for harmful practices  As an incubator of extremism and terrorism
  7. 7. Recited multiculturalism:  …Muslim immigrants bring with them cultural practices and even dress codes that are totally different to our Irish way of doing things. So where do we draw the line between respecting their traditions and asking them to adapt to ours? We don‟t have to look very far to see that the consequences of getting this wrong could be disastrous. For 50 years the rest of Europe has followed the social policy known as „multiculturalism‟, which basically means allowing separate religious communities to develop independently alongside that of their hosts. Today the evidence is overwhelming that this policy has failed. Because the countries made little or no effort to integrate their new citizens (sic), they created ghettos that became breeding grounds for violent extremists. In recent years we‟ve seen the long-term results in the shape of race riots in France, the assassination of the controversial politician Pim Fortuyn in the Netherlands and the 7/7 bombings by British Muslims in London…Ireland doesn‟t have these problems – yet (The Evening Herald 28 May 2008).
  8. 8. Cultural racism in the 1990s:  There is a growing propensity in the popular mood in Europe to blame all the socioeconomic ills resulting from capitalist readjustments…on immigrants who lack „our‟ moral and cultural values, simply because they are there…immigrants and refugees…who seek shelter in the wealthy North, have all over Western Europe come to be regarded as undesirable, threatening strangers, aliens  Verena Stolcke (1995)
  9. 9. The licences of crisis…
  10. 10. The licences of multicultural crisis:  Racism‟s new alibi: it was partly our fault (the failed experiment)  The War on Terror and civilizationism at home  The re-stabilization of national identities and „national values‟ as particular and universal (and as the basis for integration)  Populism and political re-animation  The role of culture in governance in a neoliberal era
  11. 11. The culture in multicultural backlash:  „Culture was said to be the cause of differences between France and its Muslims. .. This idea of culture was the effect of a very particular, historically specific discourse‟  Joan Whallach Scott, The Politics of the Veil (2007: 7)
  12. 12. Culture as a mode of governance: “Culture is a resource…it is being invoked to solve problems that were once the province of politics and economics” George Yúdice (2003) The Expediency of Culture: Uses of Culture in the Global Era,
  13. 13. Expanding multiculturalism?  Mutual accommodation through collective action  Multiculturalism that embraces the whole society  Equality and full participation  Engaging with racism and racial discrimination as fundamentally embedded in the „histories, cultures, traditions and institutions of western democracies‟ (Ellie Vasta, 2009)
  14. 14. Racism?  „If you understand how immigration, Islam and native European culture interact in any Western European country, you can predict roughly how they will interact in any other‟  (2009: 19)

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