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Multiculturalism, Locality and Identity

Terence Turner. 1993. - Anthropology and Multiculturalism Arjun Appadurai. 1996. - Modernity at Large

What is Multiculturalism

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Multiculturalism is used “in connection with demands on behalf of black and other minority groups for separate and equal representation in college curriculum…” (411) – especially in USA A “call for a critical retheorizing of the relation of culture and political society that would accommodate, rather than ignore or repress, the multiplicity of identities and social groups…” (412) “Multiculturalism…is primarily a movement for change.” (412) “Culture, for multiculturalists, then, refers primarily to collective social identities engaged in struggles for social equality. For multiculturalism, culture is

Nationalism and Culture

Multiculturalism contrasts with “monoculturalism,” which was the norm for the nation-state since the early 19th century. (France=French Culture) The idea of the nation-state is that each “nation” (e.g. people, race, ethnicity) should have its own sovereign state. Policies encouraged unity of language, education, economy, and religion. (compulsory education for all in the national language). Nationalism leads to assimilation - the directed removal of cultural difference -

“Multicultural society” = descriptive “Multiculturalism” = prescriptive (e.g.  Japan) Government policies include: 1) recognition of multiple citizenship 2) government support for minority language media (TV, radio, newspaper) 3) support for holidays and festivals 4) acceptance of traditional dress 5) ethnic educational programs in public schools - Canada is the best and earliest example of multiculturalism as public policy. (constitutional recognition of bilingualism and indigenous rights)

Multiculturalism as Policy

Critical Multiculturalism

Critical vs. Difference Multiculturalism

Difference Multiculturalism

Use diversity to challenge basic notions and principles common to dominant and minority cultures alike, so as to create a vital, open, and democratic common

The multiculturalism of cultural nationalists…for whom culture reduces to a tag for ethnic identity and a license for political and

 Classical

approaches to culture are enduring in society despite critical turn within anthropology  Evolutionary approaches to culture (savage, barbarian, civilization)  Nationalist approaches (nation=unified language, culture, religion)

Anthropology and Culture (1)

Anthropology and Culture (2)

Critical approaches begin with “cultural relativism” (e.g. no one language, religion, family structure, or belief system is better than any other)

“Other fundamental anthropological contributions to a more critical cultural awareness (include) the rejection of the essentialist identification of culture and race…and the overthrow of evolutionst notions of culture that held other cultures to be “lower”…” (416) Imagined Communities (Benedict Anderson) the nation is an imagined community

 Multiculturalism  Multiculturalism

interferes with feminist movements (e.g. Malik) is defeatist

Criticisms of Multiculturalism

 Multiculturalism

has become a “politically correct” form of racism (Ann Rand) lead to “Balkanization”

 May

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Locality vs. Neighborhood Locality is a socially produced subject or a “fragile social achievement” (179) that requires maintenance. (Imagined community - no “culture” is natural) Neighborhood refers to the actually existing social forms in which locality…is variably realized (179) “Even in the smallest of societies…the relationship between the production of local subjects and the neighborhoods in which such subjects can be produced, named, empowered to act socially is a

The Production of Locality

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Value for reconceiving ethnography (182) 1) it shifts the history of ethnography from a history of neighborhoods to a history of the techniques for the production of locality 2) it opens a new way to think about the coproduction of indigenous categories by intellectuals, administrators, and missionaries 3) it enables the ethnography of the modern, and the production of

The Production of Locality (2)

The task of producing locality (as a structure of feeling, a property of social life, and an ideology of situated community) is increasingly a struggle. (189) 1) the modern nation-state attempts to define all neighborhoods under the sign of its forms of allegiance and affiliation. 2) the growing disjuncture between territory, subjectivity, and social movement 3) due to electronic mediation, the erosion of the relationship between

Global Production of Locality