Whither Multiculturalism?

A Politics of Dissensus

David Haljan (Author), Barbara Saunders (Author),

Series: Studia Anthropologica 7

Category: Anthropology

Language: English

ISBN: 9789058672810

Publication date: February 17, 2003

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Size: 240 x 160 x mm


The attempt to make democratic processes more inclusive has led to the problematic notion of ‘multiculturalism’. It is based on a new principle that ‘all voices should be heard’ and ‘equal respect’ has become the irreducible core of the liberal state. However mere dialogue is not enough. First, it tends to privilege those who are already privileged. To change this needs active, exploratory listening that is allowed to challenge everyone’s picture of the world. Second, since the tensions and ambiguities are here to stay, practical ways to cope and negotiate have to be found, although it is not at all clear what is involved. The contributors to this volume explore both dimensions and in particular point to what it means when the language game of dialogicality meets its limit. However, as they point out, the limits are not absolute, but can be the entry point into more complex language-games. The authors in this volume, from Canada, the Netherlands, Britain and Belgium, bring a vast repertoire of resources, examples and interpretive frames to bear on the task of opening up what might be understood by political-ethical-aesthetic notions of ‘multiculturalism’, both contemporary and historical. The contrasting approaches indicate what is at stake, questioning as they do whether any one of the key concepts is stale across time and place. In these contributions one can hear a plea for an enhanced conception of democratic dialogue, for the need to embrace different ontological aesthetic-moral assumptions, and for an ethics and politics that are more generous and receptive. Part one of Whither Multiculturalism? is an overview of the philosophical issues; part two thematises a variety of trends in multiculturalism debates; part three concerns contemporary and historical case studies of ‘ identity politics’. Whither Multiculturalism? eschews simple dichotomies and oppositions, offers valuable insights into the contested terrains of multiculturalism and provides all those whether students, scholars, lawyers policymakers, with conceptual tools tackle the perplexing ground of multiculturalism debates.

Barbara Saunders

David Haljan

Part one – Of Walls Pilars and Strata

The many doors to Multiculturalism
Jan Nederveen Pieterse

Multiple Multiculturalisms and Charles Taylor’s Politics of Recoqgnition
Himani Bannerji

The Politics of Multiculutralism in the New Europe
Pnina Werbner

Part two – Unity and Diversity

The Nation-State and Multucultural Society
Andre van De Putte

Legal Unity and Diversity
Ernst M.H. Hirsch Ballin

Levinas, Multiculturalism, and us
Rudi Visker

Law’s Concept of a Multicultural Society
René Foqué

The Desire for Self-Determination and Necessity to Maintain interregional Solidarity – Reflections on the Right to Secession
Toon Vandevelde

Arendt’s Challenge to Multiculturalism
Barbara Saunders

Varieties of Multiculturalism: no need for a shared Language
Jaap Van Brakel

Part Three – Inclusion and Exclusion

Allah-Thons, Hassadim, Punks …: Autochtony Discourses in Flanders
Bambi Ceuppens

(Sub)National Identity and Attitude towards Foreigners in Flanders and Wallonia (Belgium)
Jaak Billiet, Bart Maddens, and Roeland Beerten

Spiritual Baptists in Multicultural Canada
Carol B. Duncan

Multiculturalism in Colonial Society: Canadian Examples from the 17th and 18th Centuries
Colin M. Coates

Legal Anomalies, Indigenous Peoples and the New World
David Berry

The Marshall Decision and Legal Mediation of Multiculturalism: a Reflection on the Future of Relations between Indigenous and Transplanted Societies in Canada
Ken Coates

The Future of Multiculturalism in Canada
Roslyn Kunin

Consistency and Precision in Public Policy
Meyer Burstein

David Haljan

Barbara Saunders

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