Multiculturalism: Introduction, Challenges, Justifications YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Multiculturalism: Introduction, Challenges, Justifications | Political Science

Introduction

  • The idea of multiculturalism in contemporary political discourse and in political philosophy reflects a debate about how to understand and respond to the challenges associated with cultural diversity based on ethnic, national, and religious differences.
  • The term “multicultural” is often used as a descriptive term to characterize the fact of diversity in a society, but in what follows, the focus is on multiculturalism as a normative ideal in the context of Western liberal democratic societies.
Multiculturalism

Challenges

  • Modern states are organized around the language and culture of the dominant groups that have historically constituted them. As a result, members of minority cultural groups face barriers in pursuing their social practices in ways that members of dominant groups do not. Some theorists argue for tolerating minority groups by leaving them free of state interference.
  • Others argue that mere toleration of group differences falls short of treating members of minority groups as equals; what is required is recognition and positive accommodation of minority group practices

Justifications for Multiculturalism

  • One justification for multiculturalism arises out of the communitarian critique of liberalism. Liberals tend to be ethical individualists; they insist that individuals should be free to choose and pursue their own conceptions of the good life. They give primacy to individual rights and liberties over community life and collective goods.
  • A second justification for multiculturalism comes from within liberalism but a liberalism that has been revised through critical engagement with the communitarian critique of liberalism.

Important Questions

Multiculturalism has not remained a political or sociological notion anymore rather it has developed as an important catalyst for economic growth?

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