John C. Maher
3. Multilingualism, myth, and controversies
Society has conventions for the use of language, like ‘speak properly’ and ‘don’t interrupt when somebody’s talking’. There are recurrent ideas and superstitions surrounding language, like ‘French is logical, Italian is beautiful, Japanese is vague’ or ‘Children don’t speak properly any more’. There is also misunderstanding about language diversity in society. Linguists challenge these assumptions, ‘Well, it’s not quite like that’. Analysing people’s beliefs about language, or ‘folk linguistics’, is important for education and for our common understanding about how language works. One of the most enduring myths is the Tower of Babel
6. Feminism and multiculturalism
1. What is multiculturalism?
Perhaps what is clearest in recent public debates about multiculturalism is that not much is clear when it comes to the key terms involved. An acceptable definition of multiculturalism has been notoriously elusive. In turn, proposed alternatives such as ‘integration’ have also remained vague. It is best, then, to begin with some brief historical and terminological preliminaries to which the discussion will return at various points in the book.
Cultural diversity and multiculturalism
‘Multiculturalism’ entered public discourses in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when both Australia and Canada began to declare their support for it.
A Very Short Introduction
2. Is multiculturalism bad for women?
If the origins of multiculturalism can be traced back to the human rights revolution of the second half of the 20th century and the subsequent emergence of progressive social movements including feminism, it might seem odd at first sight to suggest that multiculturalism might be bad for women. But it would only be strange if movements for rights, recognition, inclusion, and redistribution always neatly dovetailed into each other to form a harmonious whole.
How can multiculturalism be bad for women?
The central issue at stake is easy to spell out. If multiculturalism involves support
3. Has multiculturalism created ghettos and ‘parallel lives’?
Riots, reports, and terrorism: 2001 and after
The summer and autumn of 2001 were to prove fateful and, some might argue, fatal for multiculturalism in Britain and the rest of Europe. May, June, and July of 2001 saw ferocious civil disturbances in the northern English ‘mill towns’ (so called because they had previously had thriving textile mills) of Burnley, Oldham, and Bradford. Street battles raged between British Asian youth, mostly Muslim and of South Asian origin, white youth – many belonging to the Far-Right British National Party – and police. Firebombs damaged
Conclusion: Moving on: multiculturalism, interculturalism, and transnationalism in a new global era
Has multiculturalism failed?
It seems obvious that European nation states have decided that the period of multiculturalism is over. Multiculturalism seems now to be regarded by governments, intellectuals, and large sections of the national populations as either disastrous or at least a serious wrong turn in the response to immigration by non-white populations, usually from former colonies of the European powers in the period after 1945 at the end of the Second World War.
Is multiculturalism in terminal retreat or actually dead?
We Are All Multiculturalists Now :
1. The making of Australia