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Migration. Multiculturalism. Mobilization - Essay Example

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Voltaire, the French Historian and Philosopher, spoke about the concept of religious diversity centuries ago and reflected a prosperous society as a result of this diversity…
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Migration. Multiculturalism. Mobilization
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Download file to see previous pages Voltaire (quoted above), the French Historian and Philosopher, spoke about the concept of religious diversity centuries ago and reflected a prosperous society as a result of this diversity. Many years, wars and generations later, the world has become a much smaller place especially with the rise of globalization and constant travel of people. The last century on-looked the surfacing of a cluster of social, intellectual and political movements led by diverse factions as the indigenous communities, national minorities, ethno-cultural populations, old and new immigrants, feminists, gay men and women. These inhabitants symbolized distinctive practices, customs, lifestyles, views and ways of life that are different from, often disapproved of, and in varying degrees discouraged and criticized by the prevailing culture of the wider society (Parekh 2000). Ethnic and cultural pluralism that are the foundations of multiculturalism in Western societies, have been a cause of debate and considerable criticism amongst the politics and general public. This essay studies the role multiculturalism has in the socio-political and economical context. Defining Multiculturalism The conception of multiculturalism symbolizes a relatively new approach to elucidate the age-old process of civilizations and re-settlement. Migration and multiculturalism have become critical points in political agendas across the globe. However, before dwelling into the details of political and sociological complexities of multiculturalism, it is important to understand what the term means and review its available definitions. In his book, Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights, Canadian philosopher and multiculturalism researcher Will Kymlicka has discussed upon the conundrum of defining multiculturalism (Kymlicka 1995). He debates that the term multicultural is either too vague, because it clusters multination and poly-ethnic, or is too broad as it can embrace non-ethnic social groups, like the disabled, gays and feminists, etc.  This argument over the coverage of the term stems from the scholarly disagreements over definitions of culture. The following are a number of definitions for “multiculturalism” in peer-reviewed research: “Multiculturalism is a system of beliefs and behaviors that recognizes and respects the presence of all diverse groups in an organization or society, acknowledges and values their socio-cultural differences, and encourages and enables their continued contribution within an inclusive cultural context which empowers all within the organization or society.” (Rosado 1996) “ Multiculturalism is the co-existence of diverse cultures, where culture includes racial, religious, or cultural groups and is manifested in customary behaviours, cultural assumptions and values, patterns of thinking, and communicative styles.” (IFLA 2005) “ Multiculturalism can be defined as the challenging, the dismantling, the remaking of public identities in order to achieve an equality of citizenship that is neither merely individualistic nor premised on assimilation." (Modood 2005) “Multiculturalism is concerned with the representation, not of difference as such, but of cultural identities.” (Henry Louis Gates 1993). It should be noted that despite the fact that the term “cultural identities” is used in defining multiculturalism, the author argues against the inclusion of gender and sexual identities in a culture specific context. Author Dan Rodriguez-Garcia, in his paper on assimilation and multiculturalism, has defined a multiculturalist or pluralist society as “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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