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Issues in Political Theory

Issues in Political Theory (4th edn)

Catriona McKinnon, Robert Jubb, and Patrick Tomlin
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date: 20 August 2022

p. 1548. Multiculturalismlocked

p. 1548. Multiculturalismlocked

  • Monica Mookherjee

Abstract

This chapter studies multiculturalism. The term ‘multiculturalism’ can refer to the fact of cultural diversity and may also describe the coexistence of different kinds of cultural group within a country. Multiculturalism emphasizes status, as well as economic inequalities. Thin multiculturalism views all cultural differences as disagreements between groups that agree on liberal values. This view may underestimate the extent of conflict between cultures. Meanwhile, thick multiculturalism appreciates that some cultural differences occur between liberals and non-liberals. While the solution to cultural conflicts in thick multiculturalism is often a modus vivendi, the question is whether this solution treats non-liberal minority cultures fairly. Defenders of cultural rights hold that governments should recognize that all citizens deserve equal opportunities for developing self-respect and autonomy. However, by respecting cultural rights, a government risks supporting injustice against individuals within groups.

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