Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition

Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition

Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition

Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition

Synopsis

A new edition of the highly acclaimed book Multiculturalism and "The Politics of Recognition," this paperback brings together an even wider range of leading philosophers and social scientists to probe the political controversy surrounding multiculturalism. Charles Taylor's initial inquiry, which considers whether the institutions of liberal democratic government make room--or should make room--for recognizing the worth of distinctive cultural traditions, remains the centerpiece of this discussion. It is now joined by J¿rgen Habermas's extensive essay on the issues of recognition and the democratic constitutional state and by K. Anthony Appiah's commentary on the tensions between personal and collective identities, such as those shaped by religion, gender, ethnicity, race, and sexuality, and on the dangerous tendency of multicultural politics to gloss over such tensions. These contributions are joined by those of other well-known thinkers, who further relate the demand for recognition to issues of multicultural education, feminism, and cultural separatism.Praise for the previous edition:

Excerpt

Public institutions, including government agencies, schools, and liberal arts colleges and universities, have come under severe criticism these days for failing to recognize or respect the particular cultural identities of citizens. In the United States, the controversy most often focuses upon the needs of African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, and women. Other groups could easily be added to this list, and the list would change as we moved around the world. Yet it is hard to find a democratic or democratizing society these days that is not the site of some significant controversy over whether and how its public institutions should better recognize the identities of cultural and disadvantaged minorities. What does it mean for citizens with different cultural identities, often based on ethnicity, race, gender, or religion, to recognize ourselves as equals in the way we are treated in politics? In the way our children are educated in public schools? In the curricula and social policy of liberal arts colleges and universities?

This volume focuses on the challenge of multiculturalism and the politics of recognition as it faces democratic societies today, particularly the United States and Canada, although the basic moral issues are similar in many other democracies. The challenge is endemic to liberal democracies because they are committed in principle to equal representation of all. Is a democracy letting citizens down, excluding or discriminating against us in some morally troubling way, when major institutions fail to take account of our particular identities? Can citizens with diverse identities be represented as equals if . . .

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