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The Multicultural Path: Issues of Diversity and Discrimination in Democracy

Gurpreet Mahajan (Author)
Synopsis Exploring the reasons why multiculturalism has overtaken pluralism as the dominant concept, this book argues that it has brought the concern for equality in the public domain. While pluralism speaks of the peaceful co-existence of different communities, multiculturalism examines whether diverse cultures and communities co-exist as equals. By pointing out that culture-based discrimination can continue even after legal equality is ensured, multiculturalism has deepened democratic consciousness and awareness of citizenship. In developing this position, Gurpreet Mahajan explores a variety of extant multicultural alternatives, particularly those with a commitment to reconcile cultural rights with individual freedom. She starts by elucidating the ideas that define multiculturalism, and then goes on to analyse the concept of differentiated citizenship within which claims for special rights for minorities and marginalised groups are justified. In the process, she highlights the problems presented by the multicultural analysis of cultural discrimination and diversity. Reflecting upon the feminist and liberal critiques, this book makes a plea for re-thinking the multicultural agenda of protecting and preserving minority cultures. It suggests while differentiated citizenship may promote diversity, it cannot but help stifle dissent within the community. Consequently, the author privileges the principle of non-discrimination and proposes that assertions of cultural community identity should be considered in terms of a right to non-conformist membership. This lucid and cogently argued book is clearly an important critique of multiculturalism and a contribution to on-going political and social debates. It will be widely read by political scientists, sociologists, political and social theorists, activists, and students of cultural studies and identity.
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Bibliographic information

Title The Multicultural Path: Issues of Diversity and Discrimination in Democracy
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st. ed.
Language: English
isbn 8178290987
length 240p.