A2 Government and Politics - Multiculturalism Part Two

Revision summary for EDEXCEL Government and Politics Multiculturalism

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  • Created on: 29-05-11 09:21

Define Pluralist Multiculturalism + provide its fo

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Pluralist Multiculturalism - Diversity a value in its own right; all cultures equal, manifestations of different aspects of human nature.

1. Value Pluralism - Provides firmer foundations for politics of difference than does Liberalism. Value Pluralism is the theory that there is no universal conception of a 'good life' but a number of competing and equally legitimate conceptions. People are bound to disagree about the ultimate ends of life, as its not possible to demonstrate superiority of one moral system over another. 'Live and let live'.

2. Post-Liberal position, criticism of Liberalism as a cultural view - Has an uneasy relationship with Liberalism as it refuses to universalise it, rejecting the idea that Liberal values or Liberal democratic structures have any priority over their rivals. Instead they believe in a differentiated citizenship taking into account differential needs.

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Identify two further features of Pluralist Multicu

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3. Diversity is a value in itself - Pluralist multiculturalists place a greater emphasis on diversity rather than unity. It is the form of multiculturalism that most clearly embraces identity politics, that is fusion of identity with the political. Diversity is viewed as a value in itself, different moral beliefs and different cultures are equally legitimate.

4. Particularist Multiculturalism, extreme pluralism (plural monoculturalism) - Particularist Multiculturalists seem to go beyond value pluralism in that they stress that cultural diversity takes place within the context of unequal power as certain groups have advantages and privileges that have been denied to other groups. Disadvantage is explained in terms of the corrupting nature of western culture, values and lifestyles.

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Provide five examples of Pluralist Multiculturalis

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Example One: Isiah Berlin - Argues that there are at least some generic values but that these are irreducibly multiple, frequently conflicting and sometimes incompatible with one another. Pluralism in the Berlinian sense contains elements of moral universiality and diversity.

Example Two - John Gray 'False Dawn and the Delusions of Global Capitalism' - The belief that liberal values are universally valid is outdated, all we can expect is a way of co-existing peacefully. We have to accept that ways of life that are different to the majority may seem invalid or illegitimate.

Example Three - James Tully 'Strange miltiplicity constitutionalism in an Age of Diversity'. Western Liberalism, democracy and individual rights seen as examples of colonial domination, this can only be overcome by constitutional recognition.

Example Four - Bhikhu Parekh - Argues that human societies are far too complex to have one unique set of universal values. In Parekhs view cultural diversity is at heart a reflection of the dialetic of interplay between human nature and culture. Multiculturalism seen in more radical terms.

Example Five - Archbishop of Canterbury Shariah Law / Shariah Councils - Adopting parts of Islamic Shariah Law would help to maintain social cohesion.

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Provide a definition for Cosmpolitan Multicultural

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Cosmopolitan Multiculturalism - Diversity strengthens hybridity (multiple identities); Post-Liberal - but must be compatible with global justice.

1. Based on Cosmopolitanism (Multiculturalism = a temporary stage) - The cosmopolitan stance embraces hybridity, a condition of social and cultural mixing in which people develop multiple identities. The benefit of this form of multiculturalism is that it broadens cultural understanding ultimately leading to the emergence of a 'one world perspective'.

2. Culture is not fixed and historically embedded - Endorse cultural diversity and identity politics but view them as a temporary transitional state prior to a larger reconstruction of political sensibilities at a global level. Celebrates diversity as a means of cultural exchange, allowing cultures to learn from another, provide prospects for personal self development.

3. Endorsement of cultural mixing (multiple identities and hybridity) - Provides a 'pick and mix' multiculturalism which encourages cultural mixing. Eg: People eat Italian food, practice Yoga, enjoy African Music etc. A cosmoplitan society is a melting pot of different ideas, values and traditions, a cultural mosaic of seperate ethnic/ religious groups.

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Provide the two main examples of Cosmopolitan Mult

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Example One - Jeremy Waldron - Waldron argues that we do not need to exist in a single culture such as an ethnic community. Instead he goes further and argues that the only authentic response to the problems of our modern society is the recognition of cultural hybridity. Immersion in the tradition of a single particular community is like living in Disneyland and thinking cultures epitomise what it is for a culture to really exist.

Example Two - Kwame Appiah - Builds on the idea that hybridity, what he calls the universal concern and respect for legitimate difference. He argues that moral and religious disagreement between cultures is overstated: we have obligations to others, obligations that stretch beyond those to whom we are related by the ties of kith and kind. The model for this ethical education is conversation, one that takes place across boundaries, that is, conversation across cultural identities. To acquire  this empathy we must engage in various conversation. The end is not relativism but collective values. It is and never should be grudging tolerance.

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Outline the four main Universalist Liberal critiqu

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1. Individualism Vs Identity Politics - Identity Politics and multiculturalism seen as a threat to individualism as multiculturalists believe that personal identity is embedded in groups or social identity.

2. Culture as a form of oppression or captivity - Culture is largely passed down from one generation to the next through a process of socialisation, one cannot opt out of culture.

3. Individual Rights become subordinate to Group Rights - Multiculturalism is another form of collectivism which subordinates the rights of the individual to those of the social group. It threatens individual freedom and self development, makes people believe they belong to only one group and thus leads to social conflict.

4. Lack of Civic Identity - People see themselves as only belonging to their own cultural group, not a collective society and this weakens civic identity. It breeds a form of ghettoisation which diminshes rather than broadens cross cultural understanding.

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Provide the two main examples of the Universalist

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Example One - J.S Mill the 'despotism of custom' - Unless it is based on free and informed choice, which is rarely the case, cultural identity amounts to an affront to individuality and personal autonomy.

Example Two - Banning of Muslim Veil in French Schools - Civic identity strengthened by all forms of religious insignia being banned in public sphere. Also calls in Western Europe for banning of veil in public, creates barring.

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Outline the two main features of the Conservative/

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1. It encourages seperatism threat to national unity and social cohesion - Humans are irrational, limited creatures who are drawn to people similar to themselves. Fear or distrust of strangers / foreigners is natural and unavoidable, consequently shared values and common culture are necessary for stability.

Example - Samual Huntingdon Clash of Civilisation - Conflict will emerge on the cultural fault lines seperating one nation from another.

2. Negative impact on 'host' community - It demeans and discriminates against the culture of majority groups through alleged associations with racism. Cultures of minority groups are unfairly favoured through positive discrimination and allocation of special minority rights.

Example - Enoch Powell Rivers of Blood - 'The black man will have the whip hand over the white man in Britain in 20 years'.

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Outline the main feminist critique of Multicultura

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Reinforces Patriarchy / Threat to Women's Rights - Feminists have accused Multiculturalists policies of Minority Rights and cultural recognition as serving to preserve and legitimise traditional patriarchal beliefs and practices that systematically disadvantage women. Multiculturalism can even be seen as a concealed attempt to systematically protect male patriarchal power. Cultural beliefs and dress codes which multiculturalism preserves are all patriarchal.

Example - Susan Okin - Criticises multiculturalism due to the culturally endorsed practices that are oppressive to women and can often remain hidden in prude/ domestic sphere. It can take more or less extraordinary circumstances for abuses to become public.

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Provide the main Social Reformist Critique + two t

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Threat to social solidarity and Social Justice - Multiculturalism fails to address interests of disadvantaged groups within cultures. The real issue of minority groups is not lack of cultural recognition but lack of economic power and social status. Multiculturalism encourages groups to seek cultural self assertion not social justice, which narrows peoples sense of social responsibility, consequently weakening support for welfarist and redistributive policies.

Example - Brian Barry / David Goodhart - By emphasising cultural distinctiveness it seeks to divide and weaken people who have a common economic interest in alleviating poverty and promoting social reform.

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Outline a summary of the different types of multic

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Liberal Multiculturalism (View of Diversity) Diversity within Liberal framework compatible with toleration and autonomy. (Basis for integration) - Cultural diversity contained by overarching civic unity, universal citizenship within context of liberal democracy. (Key Criticisms) - Preserves dominance of western liberalism; denies legitimacy of non- or anti liberal cultures.

Pluralist Multiculturalism (View of diversity) - Diversity a value in its own right; all cultures equal, manifestations of different aspects of human nature. (Basis for integration) Sense of cultural belonging provides basis for civic participation, differentiated citizenship, recognising polyethnic and other rights. (Key criticisms) - Results in plural monoculturalism and absence of civic cohesion.

Cosmopolitan Multiculturalism (View of diversity) - Diversity strengthens hybridity (multiple identities); post-liberal but must be compatible with global justice. (Basis for integration) Cultural mixing promotes awareness of other peoples and of the wider world, global citizenship. (Key criticisms) - A 'pick and mix' mutliculturalism undermines cultural distinctivenss and weakens cultural authenticity.

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