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22 May

How "multicultural" is "multiculturalism"?

[World Social Forum] 

The article by Ronald Elly Wanda about the immigrant and "Britishness" in Britain in the most recent issue of ISC has several good critical points about Multiculturalism, starting with its first sentence: "The contestation of multiculturalism in Britain is not as new as 'multiculturalists' would have us believe, in actual fact, it has always been around."

Multiculturalism is a strategy and policy of many states. "As state policy, multiculturalism has so far been a way of managing cultural diversity by focussing on superficial aspects of cultural identity rather than structural inequalities related to de facto cultural dominance and institutional racism."(Wikipedia) German sociologist Ulrich Beck (in Der Kosmopolitische Blick - which I read in a Swedish translation, found in the public library of nearby Borgå) also finds multiculturalism to be a superficial and even dangerous concept. He proposes realistic Cosmopolitanism as an alternative to Multiculturalism.

* * *

Edgardo Civallero, in his prefacio to Librarianship and Human Rights (by Toni Samek, Chandos publishing 2007) speaks about the librarian, who should help people to look in each other's eyes on an equal footing:

    En realidad, no puede hacerlo. Debe hacerlo
Civallero writes.

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