The Varieties of Multiculturalism
Several months ago I asked the USIH weblog community about the best histories of multiculturalism. The discussion was outstanding: helpful, thoughtful, and thorough.Now I’m interested in a question that’s more philosophical, or present-minded, than historical. Here’s my line of thought:
How many varieties of multiculturalism exist? Or rather how similar are the ideas and actions of self-proclaimed adherents to multiculturalism?
Is essentialist, or ideological, multiculturalism exclusive of all forms of common culture? Is the ideology of multiculturalism against, by definition (i.e. cultural perspectivalism), opposed to all common culture? If not, what is allowable? Who are the practitioners of ideological multiculturalism? Of non-essentialist multiculturalism?
From the USIH thread, and from my own extensions, I see these variations:
- ___X___ Power movements—These are somewhat out of fashion. It deals with cultural and social institutions, as well as politics. This is empowerment multiculturalism. It seems like a variation of anticolonial multiculturalism;
- Politics of Recognition—This derives, of course, from Charles Taylor’s famous line of thought. This is political multiculturalism;
- Identity—This deals with everyday living. This is individual, family, and/or tribal multiculturalism;
- Essentialists—All of human life is divided into a myriad of groups with equal legitimacy. This is more philosophical, a sort of extreme relativist multiculturalism; and
- Balkanization/Little Platoons–I take this from Daniel Rodgers’ Age of Fracture. This is a strain where groups live side-by-side, sometimes peacefully and sometimes in conflict, under the aegis of a single nation state. This is social multiculturalism.
What have I missed? Let’s identify as many strains as possible, and attach representative public figures to each strain. – TL