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p. 71. What is multiculturalism?locked

  • Ali Rattansi


An acceptable definition of multiculturalism is notoriously elusive. ‘Multiculturalism’ entered public discourses in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It has never been about encouraging separation and segregation; rather it has involved the creation of structures in which the incorporation of immigrants and ethnic minorities occurs fairly and with respect for those minorities wishing to retain elements of their cultural diversity. Why have ‘multicultural’ and ‘multiracial’ become interchangeable, especially in Britain? What part do cultural rights specifically and multiculturalism generally play in the international human rights agenda? What varieties of multiculturalism exist?

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