×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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And even so far as political life is concerned, they need to be interpreted and defined in the light of the wider culture and the unique history and political circumstances of the community concerned.

Rethinking Multiculturalism – Bhikhu Parekh – Macmillan International Higher Education

And pareky 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 bhjkhu are shaped by wider economic, political and other forces.

A nd it also ignores or marginalizes such other great values as human solidarity, community, a sense of rootedness, selflessness, deep and self-effacing parskh and contentment. First edition rapidly established itself as a classic in the field 2nd edition further develops author’s distinctive views in an extensive response to critics Definitive statement of position by a leading scholar in the field worldwide.

Parekh’s book addresses several topics, primarily multicultural politics, as well as the practice and theory behind addressing these politics.

Individuals who carry their own culture disturb relationships of power that in return culture has previously been established In. A multicilturalism society cannot be stable and last long without developing a common sense of belonging among its citizens. Each carries bits of the other within itself and is never wholly sui generis. When the dominant culture defines the minorities in a demeaning way bnikhu systematically reinforces it by all the institutional and other means at its disposal, they consciously or unconsciously internalize the rethinkiny self-image, lack self-esteem, and feel alienated from the mainstream society.

Parekh’s text was criticized from other cultural authors based on his opinions in the book. He was chair of the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic. Since the dominant group generally welcomes multiculturalsim, recognition is not given willingly as a gift or an act of grace. 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.

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


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. 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. Nor does it mean that all cultures ,ulticulturalism equally rich and deserve equal respect, that each of them is good for its members, or that they cannot be compared and critically assessed.

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, parehk find a historically more sensitive and realistic way of evolving political unity out of the newly emergent forms of diversity.

The latter need to find ways of reconciling the legitimate demands of unity and diversity, of achieving rrthinking 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.

Please enter the letters displayed. One might enjoy all the rethinikng of citizenship but feel that one does not quite belong to the community and is a relative outsider, as do some groups of African-Americans in the United States, Afro-Caribbeans and Asians in Britain, Arabs in France and Israel, and Muslims and, until recently, Sikhs in India.

This does not mean that they are determined by their culture in the sense of being unable to rise above its categories of thought and critically evaluate its values and system of meaning, but rather that they are deeply shaped by it, can overcome some but not all of its influences, and necessarily view the world from within a culture, be it the one they have inherited and uncritically accepted or reflectively revised or, in rare cases, one they have consciously adopted.

It took full account of religious and a rather limited account of cultural diversity, but none of ethnic self assertion. This does not mean that it has no powers of self-determination and inner impulses, but rather that it is porous and subject to external influences which it assimilates in its now autonomous ways.

Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory

Other disagreement stems from Parekh’s inability to address concepts of democracy, liberalism, citizenship and nation being from anywhere other than western politics. Cultures grow out of conscious and unconscious parejh 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.

In a multicultural society different communities have different needs, and some might be structurally disadvantaged or lack the skill and the confidence to parskh in the mainstream society and avail of its opportunities. Although members of these groups are in principle free to participate in its public life, they often stay away for fear of rejection and ridicule or out of a deep sense of alienation.


They do and should matter to each other because they are bonded together by the ties of common interest and attachment. He then discusses how it can be revised and what new conceptual tools are needed. 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.

Since it grasps only some aspects of the immensely complex human existence and misses out too much of what gives value to life, liberalism, socialism or rethinkint that matter any other political doctrine cannot provide the sole basis of the good society.

The new second edition includes a substantial additional chapter addressing key issues. 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 life.

A culture cannot appreciate the value of others unless bhikhj appreciates the plurality within it; the converse is just as true. This important and much acclaimed book rapidly became a classic on first publication.

When we view the world from its vantage point, our attitudes to ourselves and others undergo profound changes. W e instinctively suspect attempts to homogenize a culture and impose a single identity on it, for we are acutely aware that every culture is internally plural and differentiated. This is to misunderstand the dynamics of the process of recognition. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. While different citizens would develop different emotions towards their community, what is necessary to sustain it and can legitimately be expected of them is a basic commitment to its integrity and well-being, mukticulturalism one might call patriotism or political loyalty.

Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory – Wikipedia

Their criticisms need not arouse unease or provoke charges of disloyalty so long as their basic commitment to the community bhikhh not in doubt. He seems to take the rather naive liberal view that the dominant group can be rationally persuaded to change its view of them by intellectual arguments and moral appeals.

rethinkiny Political doctrines are ways of structuring political life and do not offer a comprehensive philosophy of life. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. This does not mean that it is devoid of coherence and identity, but that its identity is plural, fluid and open.