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Jakarta Post

Needed: An open dialogue on multiculturalism

  • Gabriel Faimau

Bristol   /   Fri, August 29 2008   /  10:44 am

Over the past few decades, multiculturalism has emerged as one of the leading contemporary political theories and popularized by prominent scholars such as Will Kymlicka, Charles Taylor, Bhikhu Parekh, Iris Young and Tariq Modood. By definition, multiculturalism deals with political recognition of the cultural differences and identities and therefore normatively would shape the politics of integration and citizenship within a nation-state. This basic idea assumes a dominant culture within a particular society. In the Western societies where a dominant culture can be easily identified, it is not difficult to consider the idea of multiculturalism. For example, in Europe the notion of ethnic minorities has been about the postwar extra-European or non-white immigrants. Adapting a multicultural approach in such a context therefore means recognizing the cultural differen...