By Marie Macey (auth.)
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Additional resources for Multiculturalism, Religion and Women: Doing Harm by Doing Good?
Britain should develop both as a community of citizens (the liberal view) and as a community of communities (the pluralist view)’ (Parekh, 2000b). 9. ‘the political idea of multiculturalism – the recognition of group differences within the political sphere of laws, policies, democratic discourses and the terms of a shared citizenship …’ (Modood, 2007). 10. ‘A shift to true multiculturalism … would involve the abandonment of cultural hegemony by the native Britons’ (Melotti, 1997). Put at its simplest, multiculturalism refers to the policies and practices developed by Western societies to cope with the non-Western cultural and religious diversity that now exists within their borders.
The reason for the neglect of this question is that multiculturalism stresses the equality of cultures, which leads to an emphasis on only the positive aspects of diversity and a concomitant rejection of the possibility that minority cultures might also contain negative elements. Similar observations do not apply to multiculturalism’s references to white cultures which enter the multicultural debate only in terms of assumed racism! My discussion of the meaning of multiculturalism acknowledges that it is a contested concept that varies over time and place – hence my pluralising of the concept in the title of this chapter.
Singh states that research suggests that trans-nationalism helps, rather than hinders, integration because ‘a trans-national identity may give people the confidence in their own identity to engage with wider society’ (2007: 35). Unfortunately, no information is provided about this research – which I am certainly not aware of – but the notion that maintaining (an ossified version of) the culture of the homeland somehow aids integration and participation in British society is pure multicultural theory.