Anti‐Essentialism, Multiculturalism, and the ‘Recognition’ Of Religious Groups

Tariq Modood

in Citizenship in Diverse Societies

Published in print March 2000 | ISBN: 9780198297703
Published online October 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602948 | DOI:
Anti‐Essentialism, Multiculturalism, and the ‘Recognition’ Of Religious Groups

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Essentialist and anti‐essentialist views of multicultural society are discussed, using data from the Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities in Britain, which was undertaken in 1994. One of the survey findings was that there is much empirical support for those theorists who have emphasized the fluid and hybrid nature of contemporary post‐immigration ethnicities in Britain. It is argued that the political challenge is to reach for a multicultural Britishness that is happy with this hybridity, but also has space for religious identities, which have been largely neglected by theorists. The last part of the chapter discusses the importance of recognizing religious communities further.

Keywords: anti‐essentialism; essentialism; ethnic minorities; multiculturalism; religious minorities; UK

Chapter.  9506 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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