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"Cultural identity is subjective" - On the political role of culture in multicultural societies

Stenberg, Lisen LU (2011) STVM01 20111
Department of Political Science
Abstract
In this study, the wide area of cultural integration politics is approached. Departing from a theoretical fusion between constructivist post-colonialism and liberal cosmopolitanism, the study investigates the approach to culture that is found within the integration strategies of multiculturalism and assimilation, repsectively. By employing two stylized ideal-types and applying them to a political reality, the thesis suggests that cultures are often treated as definable wholes, a treatment which can be said to hamper social integration. Further, by approaching cultural identity from the critical perspective, suggesting that cultures are non-static and fluid processes rather than identifiable entities, the results have a normative... (More)
In this study, the wide area of cultural integration politics is approached. Departing from a theoretical fusion between constructivist post-colonialism and liberal cosmopolitanism, the study investigates the approach to culture that is found within the integration strategies of multiculturalism and assimilation, repsectively. By employing two stylized ideal-types and applying them to a political reality, the thesis suggests that cultures are often treated as definable wholes, a treatment which can be said to hamper social integration. Further, by approaching cultural identity from the critical perspective, suggesting that cultures are non-static and fluid processes rather than identifiable entities, the results have a normative implication; cultures should not be used as integration tools in multicultural societies. Rather, majority and minority groups should be united on a basis of deliberation, recognizing differences in values and norms, and making the notion of a unified culture obsolete. This imperative also makes the idea of minority cultures needing special legal protection redundant. Central in the associated prescribtion is to reduce economic and social inequalities between minority and majority groups. The thesis concludes that it is both possible and desirable to shift the focus in integration from cultural conformity or difference to socio-economic measures such as labour-market and education policies. (Less)
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author
Stenberg, Lisen LU
supervisor
organization
course
STVM01 20111
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
integration, cultural identity, multiculturalism, assimilation, post-colonialism, cosmopolitanism, ideal-types
language
English
id
1968476
date added to LUP
2011-06-20 15:00:55
date last changed
2011-06-20 15:00:55
@misc{1968476,
  abstract     = {In this study, the wide area of cultural integration politics is approached. Departing from a theoretical fusion between constructivist post-colonialism and liberal cosmopolitanism, the study investigates the approach to culture that is found within the integration strategies of multiculturalism and assimilation, repsectively. By employing two stylized ideal-types and applying them to a political reality, the thesis suggests that cultures are often treated as definable wholes, a treatment which can be said to hamper social integration. Further, by approaching cultural identity from the critical perspective, suggesting that cultures are non-static and fluid processes rather than identifiable entities, the results have a normative implication; cultures should not be used as integration tools in multicultural societies. Rather, majority and minority groups should be united on a basis of deliberation, recognizing differences in values and norms, and making the notion of a unified culture obsolete. This imperative also makes the idea of minority cultures needing special legal protection redundant. Central in the associated prescribtion is to reduce economic and social inequalities between minority and majority groups. The thesis concludes that it is both possible and desirable to shift the focus in integration from cultural conformity or difference to socio-economic measures such as labour-market and education policies.},
  author       = {Stenberg, Lisen},
  keyword      = {integration,cultural identity,multiculturalism,assimilation,post-colonialism,cosmopolitanism,ideal-types},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {"Cultural identity is subjective" - On the political role of culture in multicultural societies},
  year         = {2011},
}