Multiculturalism that the charge that multiculturalism critiqueMulticulturalism that the charge that multiculturalism critique

Multiculturalism considers itself the route to more tolerant and
inclusive society because it recognizes that there is a diverse view of
cultures, and rejects the assimilation of these into the cultural traditions of
the dominant group. 1
Multiculturalism appears not as a cultural liberator but as a cultural straitjacket,
directing members of minority groups into a regime of authenticity, to give
them the chance to borrow cultural influences that allows them to define and
redefine themselves.2
Culture matters, as part of the way we give meaning to our world, as an
important element in self-ascribed identity. Multiculturalism and commitments
to cultural diversity emerged out of conflictual history of resistance to
monocultural model of accommodation, integration, and transformation.3
In other words, multicultural demands and aspirations begun to be articulated
than they were imparted multiple and conflicting interpretations, meanings, and
implications. Broadly conceived, multiculturalism is critical of and resistant
to the necessarily reductive imperatives of monocultural assimilation.4
The emergence of contemporary multiculturalism is to be understood in relation
to the twentieth -century dominance of monoculturalism. Monoculturalism was the
more or less unchallenged ideological common sense of the first half of this
The new, where it is acknowledged at all, is conceived not just as a challenge
to the truth of tradition but as a threat, not just to be critically engaged
but to be resisted where it cannot be denied.6
However, it might be worth considering that the charge that multiculturalism
critique is politically motivated may be at once embraced — it is true, and for good reason­ — yet redirected. Multicultural critique is indeed political in the sense
of undertaking to redefine the public values constitutive of the polis, of the
state in which we live, to make those values more open to incorporative transformation.7
To date, the prevailing arguments in support of multiculturalism have been
articulated in terms of identity and difference; nevertheless, it is the
arguments so configured that have constricted the theoretical and practical
possibilities available to proliferate and renew multicultural conditions.8

1 Phillips,
Anne. Multiculturalism without Culture. Princeton, NJ: Princeton
UP, 2009. Print, 14.

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2 Phillips, Multiculturalism, 15.

3 Goldberg,
David Theo. Multiculturalism: A Critical Reader. Oxford: Blackwell,
2004. Print, 7.

4 Goldberg,
Multiculturalism, 8.

5 Goldberg, Multiculturalism, 11.

6 Phillips,
Multiculturalism, 14.

7 Phillips,
Multiculturalism, 16.

8 Phillips,
Multiculturalism, 17.