Chapter

The Fetish of Difference

Richard Bernstein

in The Fractious Nation?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780520220430
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520936911 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520220430.003.0003
The Fetish of Difference

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This chapter muses on the proper balance between love of one's own ethnic or religious identity and loyalty to the larger public American identity. It recognizes that the multiculturalism of today aims, at least in rhetoric, at something different—inclusion and success, not separation and subordination for those who are different. It notes that in practice, whatever the claims that are made on behalf of it, multiculturalism has proved to be far less an avenue toward inclusiveness and tolerance than a new orthodoxy exceedingly intolerant of disagreement. It explains that its emphasis is on what makes various American groups different rather than on what brings them together.

Keywords: ethnic identity; religious identity; American identity; multiculturalism; inclusion; separation; subordination; orthodoxy

Chapter.  4262 words. 

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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