Multiculturalism and its Critics

Jeff Spinner-Halev

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Theory

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548439
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Multiculturalism and its Critics


This article examines multiculturalism, focusing on the so-called ethnocultural groups which are often ethnic and national cultural groups or intergenerational communities that have some shared practices and history that members believe are constitutive of the group. It explains that liberalist multiculturalists tend to view respect for cultural groups in instrumental terms while non-liberals often argue that cultures deserve respect because they are intrinsically valuable. It suggests that the non-liberal respect argument and the identity argument avoids some ambiguities involved in liberal multiculturalism since they do not argue for group-differentiated rights because of autonomy or self-respect.

Keywords: multiculturalism; ethnocultural groups; intergenerational communities; shared practices; cultures; autonomy; self-respect

Article.  7070 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Political Theory

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