Migration and cultural diversity challenges in the twenty-first century

Authored by: Nasar Meer , Tariq Modood

Routledge Handbook of Immigration and Refugee Studies

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138794313
eBook ISBN: 9781315759302
Adobe ISBN: 9781317638773


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‘It is hard to find a democratic or democratizing society these days that is not the site of some significant controversy over whether and how its institutions should better recognize the identities of cultural and disadvantaged minorities’ declared Amy Gutmann (1994: 3) two decades ago. In the intervening period, this trend has continued in debates concerning the separation of public and private spheres (Parekh 2000) and the way in which a country’s self-image is configured (Uberoi and Modood 2012), as well as in what either could be characterised as mundane or highly political questions of dietary or uniform changes in places of school and work. What these all share in common is the view that citizenship cannot ignore the internal plurality of societies that play host to ‘difference’. As Benhabib summarises:

Our contemporary condition is marked by the emergence of new forms of identity politics around the globe. The new forms complicate and increase centuries-old tensions between the universalistic principles ushered in by the American and French Revolutions and the particularities of nationality, ethnicity, gender, “race”, and language.

(Benhabib 2002: vii)

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