×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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Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory – Wikipedia

M ulticultural societies in their current form are new to our age and throw up theoretical and political problems that have no parallel bhhikhu history.

Cultural Diversity and Political Theory”. It must, therefore, value and cherish them all equally and reflect this in its structure, policies, conduct of public affairs, self-understanding and self-definition.

Parekh writes about the dangers of avoiding ignoring diversity as well as if diversity is over addressed. The political community therefore cannot expect its members to develop a sense of belonging to it unless it in turn belongs to them. 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.

Political doctrines are ways of structuring political life and do not offer a comprehensive philosophy of life. Thanks to the wisdom of its founding fathers, and the judicious balance between unity and diversity embodied in the Indian Constitution, India has managed to persist for five decades as a territorially intact and moderately successful polity.

The two do not necessarily coincide. A culture cannot appreciate the value of others unless it appreciates the plurality within it; the converse is just as true. He was elected British Asian of the Year in and received the Parekj award for special lifetime achievement in The core of the book addresses the important theoretical questions raised by contemporary multicultural society, especially the nature and limits of intercultural equality and fairness, national identity, citizenship, and cross-cultural political rethinoing.

The political theories, institutions, vocabulary, virtues and skill that we have developed in the course of consolidating and conducting the affairs of paarekh culturally homogeneous state during the past three centuries are of limited help, and sometimes even a positive handicap, in dealing with multicultural societies.

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 involves granting them equal rights of citizenship, a decent standard of living, and the opportunity to develop themselves and participate in and make their respective contributions to its collective rethnking. Patriotism is not the monopoly of the conservatives, and the socialists, the radicals and the communists can be loyal to their community just as much as and even more than they are. 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.


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 rethinkingg least partially multicultural in their origins and constitution. He then discusses how it can be revised and what new conceptual tools are needed.

They do and should matter to each other because they are bonded together by the ties of common interest and attachment. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

From a multiculturalist perspective, no political doctrine or ideology can represent the full truth of human life. This is why, although they might personally loathe some of their mulyiculturalism or find their lifestyles, views and values unacceptable, their mutual commitment and multiculturalisj as members rethonking a shared community remain unaffected.

A culture cannot be at ease with differences outside it unless it is at ease with its own internal differences. Cultural Diversity and Political Theory has been reviewed by several political and cultural authors. All it means is that no culture is wholly worthless, that it deserves at least some respect because of what it means to its members and the creative energy it displays, that no culture is perfect and has a right to impose itself on others, and that cultures are best changed from within.

From a multiculturalist perspective the good society cherishes the diversity of and encourages a creative dialogue between its different cultures and bgikhu moral visions. Second, different cultures represent different systems of meaning and visions of the good life. Misrecognition, therefore, can only be countered by undertaking a rigorous critique of the dominant culture and radically restructuring the prevailing inequalities of economic and political power. C ommitment or belonging is reciprocal in nature.

This does not mean that it is devoid of coherence and identity, but that its identity is plural, fluid and open. A citizen cannot be committed to her political parkeh unless it is also committed to her, and she cannot belong to it parrkh it accepts her as one of it. However, they can be defined in rthinking different ways, of which the liberal is only one and not multicuulturalism the most coherent.

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. Pages to import images to Wikidata. The latter need to find ways of reconciling the legitimate demands of unity and diversity, of achieving political unity without cultural uniformity, and cultivating among its citizens both a common sense of belonging and a willingness to respect and cherish deep cultural differences.


It took full account of religious and a rather limited account of cultural diversity, but none of ethnic self assertion.

Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory

The wisdom of a multicultural society consists in multiculturailsm ability to anticipate, minimize and manage such demands. Individuals who carry their own culture disturb relationships of power that in return culture has previously been established In.

Closed cultures cannot and do not wish or need to talk to each other. 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.

Liberalism, for example, is an inspiring political doctrine stressing such great values as human dignity, autonomy, liberty, critical thought and equality. He was elected British Asian of The erstwhile Soviet Union and Yugoslavia lacked the requisite imagination and wisdom and met their doom.

If some groups in it wish to lead self-contained lives and avoid interaction with others, it should respect their choices so long as they meet the consensually derived basic conditions of the good life. The new second edition includes a substantial additional chapter addressing key issues. Many accused the text of having no real world use, and only theory to back it up. In it, Bhikhu Parekh shows that the Western tradition of political philosophy has very limited theoretical resources to cope with cultural 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 partly because the deeply disadvantaged Blacks do sometimes exhibit some of the features that confirm White stereotypes.

When we view the world from its vantage point, our attitudes to ourselves and others undergo profound changes. Even such affluent, stable and politically mature democracies as the U.

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 and significance.

This is a formidable theoretical and political task and no multicultural society has so far succeeded in tackling it.