Assessing Multiculturalism Theoretically: E Pluribus Unum, Sic et Non

Edward A. Tiryakian

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Abstract

Drawing on John Rex’s call to place multiculturalism in a global and theoretical perspective, this paper begins with a conceptual differentiation of "multicultural" and "multiculturalism", treating the former as a demographical variable and the second as an ideological variable. The exposition provides a broad historical overview of the relation of culture to state formation in the making of the nation-state, with the more recent decoupling of culture and nation-state, partly stemming from globalisation, partly from new waves of immigration. This decoupling creates opportunities in democratic societies for "minority cultures" of indigenous and new immigrant ethnic groups to seek recognition in the public sphere.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

A. Tiryakian, Edward. Assessing Multiculturalism Theoretically: E Pluribus Unum, Sic et Non. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2003, vol. 5, no.1, pp. 20-39. UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574. www.unesco.org/shs/ijms/vol5/issue1/art2

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