With the ‘cultural turn’, the concept of culture has assumed enormous importance in our understanding of the interrelations between social, political, and economic structures, patterns of everyday interaction, and systems of meaning-making. In The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Analysis, the leading figures in their fields explore the implications of this paradigm shift. Addressed to academics and advanced students in all fields of the social sciences and humanities, this Handbook is at once a synthesis of advances in the field, with a comprehensive coverage of the scholarly literature, and a collection of original and provocative essays by some of the brightest intellectuals of our time.

Analysing Multiculturalism Today

Analysing multiculturalism today

Introduction

As all social and cultural analysts agree, multiculturalism today is becoming an exceptionally ubiquitous passe-partout concept. Beside it offering different kinds of conceptualization of, and government policy towards, cultural diversity in different national, supra-national or sub-national contexts, Barnor Hesse also notes that multiculturalism ‘no longer simply signifies the celebration or problem of cultural diversity; or the limited constitutional recognition of cultural difference; it can also refer to antagonisms between the sacred and the secular, educational pluralism and the distribution of democratic rights in relation to “race,” class, gender and sexuality. It has become a floating signifier that not only blurs the distinction between different social sites of enunciation but between different western national enunciations’ (Hesse, 1997: pp. 376–377). This is ...

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