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×Toggle helper textThis website uses cookies. By using our website and agreeing to our cookies policy, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with the. The early s marked the emergence of the multicultural movement at first in Canada and Australia and then in the U.S.A., U.K., Germany and elsewhere. Bhikhu Parekh argues for a pluralist perspective on cultural diversity. Writing from both within the liberal tradition and outside of it as a critic, he challenges what.

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First, human beings are culturally embedded in the sense that they grow up and live within a culturally structured world and organize their lives and social relations in terms of a culturally derived system of meaning rethiinking significance.

And we remain equally sceptical of all attempts to present it as one whose origins lie within itself, as self-generating and sui generis, for we feel persuaded that all cultures are born out of interaction with and absorb the influences of others and are shaped by wider economic, political and other forces. The sense of belonging cannot be ethnic and based on shared cultural, ethnic and other characteristics, for a multicultural society is too diverse for that, but must be political and based on a shared commitment to the political community.

mu,ticulturalism In a multicultural society different communities have different needs, and some might be structurally disadvantaged or lack the skill and the confidence to participate in the mainstream society and avail of its opportunities. A lthough equal citizenship is essential to fostering a common sense of belonging, it is not enough.

Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory

Its members do not directly belong to each other as in an ethnic group but through their mediating membership of a shared community, and they are committed to each other because they are all in their own different ways committed to a common historical community. A culture cannot appreciate the value of others unless it appreciates the plurality within it; the converse is just as true. A dialogue between cultures requires that each should be willing to open itself up to the influence of and learn from others, and this presupposes that it is self-critical and willing and able to engage in a dialogue with itself.

He then discusses how it can be revised and what new conceptual tools are needed. The commitment to the political community involves commitment to its continuing existence and well-being, and implies that one cares enough for it not to harm its interests and undermine its integrity. Many accused the text of having no real world use, and only theory to back it up. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It creates and defines multiculturalism in the form of political theory as well as political practice in the modern era, being based on Parekh’s experience of Multiculturalism in British society as well as other areas around the world.


It is a matter of degree and could take such forms as a quiet concern for its well-being, deep attachment, affection, and intense love. This is to misunderstand the dynamics of the process of recognition.

What I might call a multiculturalist perspective is composed of the creative interplay of these three important and complementary insights — namely the cultural embeddedness of human beings, the inescapability and desirability of cultural plurality, and the plural and multicultural constitution of each culture.

It also assumed a culturally neutral and socially transcendental state, able to ensure political impartiality, and did not anticipate that a determined majority might culturally monopolise the state and use it to enforce a narrow vision of India. Its central insights are three, each of which is sometimes misinterpreted by its advocates and needs to be carefully reformulated if it is to carry conviction.

There is little sign that we have even begun to grasp the enormity of the problem facing us, let alone explore ways of tackling it. He was chair of the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic. A nd it also ignores or marginalizes such other great values as human solidarity, community, a sense of rootedness, selflessness, deep and self-effacing humility and contentment.

Bhikhu Parekh, What is multiculturalism

Second, different cultures represent different systems multculturalism meaning and visions of the good life. They do and should matter to each other because they are bonded together by the ties of common mhlticulturalism and attachment. The Constitution presupposed a much higher rate of economic growth and a much greater degree of equitable distribution of resources among the diverse communities than has proved to be the case. Political doctrines are parrkh of structuring political life and do not offer a comprehensive multicuoturalism of life.

Now that these and other possibilities have materialized, we need to undertake a radical reconsideration of some of the constitutive principles of the Indian state, and find a historically more sensitive and realistic way of evolving political unity out of the newly emergent forms of diversity. This does not mean that it is devoid of coherence and multiculturalizm, but that its identity rdthinking plural, fluid and open. Individuals who carry their own culture disturb relationships of power that in return culture has previously been established In.

Since each realises a limited range of human capacities and emotions and grasps only a part of the totality of human existence, it needs other cultures to help it understand itself better, expand its intellectual and moral horizon, stretch its imagination, save it from narcissism to guard it against the obvious temptation to absolutise itself, and so on.

When the dominant culture defines the minorities in a demeaning way and systematically reinforces it by all the institutional and other means at its disposal, they consciously or unconsciously internalize the negative self-image, lack self-esteem, and feel alienated from the mainstream society. This is a formidable theoretical and political task and no multicultural society has so far succeeded in tackling it.

In it, Bhikhu Parekh shows that the Western tradition of political philosophy has very limited theoretical resources to cope with cultural diversity.


Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory – Wikipedia

bhhikhu However, they can be defined in several different ways, pqrekh which the liberal is only one and not always the most coherent.

This undercuts the very basis of Afrocentrism, Eurocentrism, Indocentrism, Sinocentrism and other kinds of centrisms, all of which isolate the history of the culture concerned from that of others and credit its achievements to its own genius.

The American Whites, for example, take a demeaning view of Blacks partly under the influence of the racist culture, partly because this helps them justify the prevailing system of domination, and multiculturaliwm because the deeply disadvantaged Blacks do sometimes exhibit some of the features that confirm White stereotypes.

T hird, every culture is internally plural and reflects a continuing conversation between its different traditions and strands of thought.

Even such affluent, stable and politically mature democracies as the U. T he political context in which the Constitution was drafted has however altered considerably.

From a multiculturalist perspective the good society cherishes the diversity of and parelh a creative dialogue between its different cultures and their moral visions.

Since the dominant group generally welcomes neither, recognition is not given willingly as a gift or an act of grace. All claims that a particular institution or way of thinking or living is perfect, the best, or necessitated by human nature itself appear incoherent and even bizarre, for it goes against our well-considered conviction that all ways of thought and life are inherently limited and cannot embody the full range of the richness, complexity and grandeur of human existence.

Citizenship is about status and rights; belonging is about acceptance, feeling welcome, a pagekh of identification.

Guided by such loyalty, they might criticise their form of government, institutions, policies, values, ethos and dominant self understanding in the strongest possible terms if they think that these harm its survival and well-being.

M isrecognition rethinkiing both a cultural and a material basis. M ulticultural societies in their current form are new to our age and throw up theoretical and political problems that have no parallel in history.

I multifulturalism therefore like to begin by clarifying what it means and stands for, and then briefly highlight some of the problems facing a multicultural society. Cultures grow out of conscious and unconscious interactions with each other, define their identity in terms of what they take to be their significant other, and are at least partially multicultural in their origins and constitution.

A multicultural society should not repeat the mistake of its monocultural counterpart by requiring that all its communities should become multicultural. When we view the world from its vantage point, our attitudes to ourselves and others undergo profound changes.