×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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Mklticulturalism doctrines are ways of structuring political life and do not offer a comprehensive philosophy of life. Retrieved from ” https: This important and much acclaimed book rapidly became paeekh classic on first publication.

Guided by such loyalty, they might criticise their form of government, institutions, policies, values, ethos and dominant self understanding in the strongest possible terms if they think that these harm its survival and well-being. 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.

Since each defines its identity in terms of its differences from others or what it is not, it feels threatened by them and seeks to safeguard its integrity by resisting their influences and even avoiding all contacts with them. Parekh writes about the dangers of avoiding ignoring diversity as well as if diversity is over addressed.

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. Please enter the letters displayed.

In it, Bhikhu Parekh shows that the Western tradition of political philosophy has very limited theoretical resources to cope with cultural Parekh’s book addresses several topics, primarily multicultural politics, as rethin,ing as the practice and theory behind addressing these politics.

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 rethunking derived system of meaning and significance. A multicultural society cannot be stable and last long without developing a common sense of belonging among its citizens.

Since the multicultural movement sprang up unplanned in many different political contexts, attracted a diverse cluster of groups, and has so far failed to throw up a coherent philosophical statement of its central principles, it lacks a clear focus and identity.

It also assumed a culturally parwkh 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. Individuals who carry their own culture disturb relationships of power that in return culture has previously been established In.


Since the dominant group generally welcomes neither, recognition is not given bhikhi as a gift or an act of grace.

In it, Bhikhu Parekh shows that the Western tradition of political philosophy has very limited theoretical resources to cope with cultural diversity. The political theories, institutions, vocabulary, virtues and skill that we have developed in the course of consolidating and conducting the affairs of a culturally homogeneous state during the past three centuries are of limited help, and sometimes even a positive handicap, in dealing with multicultural societies.

I would therefore like to begin by clarifying what it means and stands for, and then briefly highlight some of the problems facing a multicultural society. 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.

From a multiculturalist perspective the good society cherishes the diversity of and encourages a creative dialogue between its different cultures and their moral visions. 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.

Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory

Each of them — be it liberalism, conservatism, socialism or nationalism — is embedded in a particular culture, represents a particular vision of the good life, and is necessarily narrow and partial. Its central insights are three, each of which is sometimes misinterpreted by its advocates and needs to be carefully reformulated if it is to carry conviction. One might enjoy all the rights 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.

Cultural Diversity and Political Theory”.

Rethinking Multiculturalism – Bhikhu Parekh – Macmillan International Higher Education

A culture cannot appreciate the value of others unless it appreciates the plurality within it; the converse is just as true. It multiculhuralism a matter of degree and could take such forms as a quiet concern for its well-being, deep attachment, affection, and intense love. T he political context in which the Constitution was drafted has however altered considerably. Their criticisms need not arouse unease or provoke charges of disloyalty so long as their basic commitment to the community is not in doubt.

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

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. A political theorist of international renown he has held visiting chairs at many of the top US universities as well as in Vienna and Barcelona. A nd it also ignores or marginalizes such other great values as human solidarity, community, a sense of rootedness, selflessness, deep and self-effacing humility and contentment.


Many accused the text of having no real world use, and only theory to back it up. 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. T hird, every culture is internally plural and reflects a continuing conversation between its different traditions and strands of thought.

multicu,turalism Views Multiculturalisj Edit View history. The early s marked the emergence of the multicultural movement at first in Canada and Australia and then in the U. Culture is the belief or view human beings create regarding the significance of human life, and in close proximity different views and sets of beliefs are created.

Parekh’s text was criticized from other cultural authors based on his opinions in the book. Citizenship is about status and rights; belonging is about acceptance, feeling welcome, a sense of identification.

The commitment to the political community involves commitment to its continuing existence and well-being, and implies that one cares enough for it not to harm its interests and undermine its integrity. They do and should matter to each other because they are bonded together by the ties of common interest and attachment.

This undercuts the very basis of Afrocentrism, Eurocentrism, Indocentrism, Sinocentrism and other kinds of centrisms, all of which isolate the history of the culture concerned from that of others and credit its achievements to its own genius. M isrecognition has both a cultural and a material basis.

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.

Bhikhu Parekh, What is multiculturalism

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. 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 for that matter any other political doctrine cannot provide the sole basis of the good society.

Liberalism, for example, is an inspiring political doctrine stressing such great values as human dignity, autonomy, liberty, critical thought and equality.