Multicultural Dialogue: Dilemmas, Paradoxes, Conflicts

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Berghahn Books, 2012 - Social Science - 190 pages
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As cross-cultural migration increases democratic states face a particular challenge: how to grant equal rights and dignity to individuals while recognizing cultural distinctiveness. In response to the greater number of ethnic and religious minority groups, state policies seem to focus on managing cultural differences through planned pluralism. This book explores the dilemmas, paradoxes, and conflicts that emerge when differences are managed within this conceptual framework. After a critical investigation of the perceived logic of identity, indicative of Western nation-states and at the root of their pluralistic intentions, the author takes issue with both universalist notions of equality and cultural relativist notions of distinctiveness. However, without identity is it possible to participate in dialogue and form communities? Is there a way out of this impasse? The book argues in favor of communities based on nonidentitarian difference, developed and maintained through open and critical dialogue.

Randi Gressgard is Associate Professor at the Centre for Women's and Gender Research (SKOK), University of Bergen. She is also affiliated with the research unit IMER (International Migration and Ethnic Relations).


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Chapter 1 Dual Subjectivity and the Metaphysics of Purity
Chapter 2 Nonmodern Holism and Modern Totalitarianism
Chapter 3 Heterogeneity and the Singular Subject
Chapter 4 Consequences of Heterogeneity
Chapter 5 Conditions for Dialogue

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About the author (2012)

Randi Gressgård is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Women's and Gender Research (SKOK) at the University of Bergen. She is also affiliated with the research unit International Migration and Ethnic Relations (IMER) in Bergen. Her research interests focus on minority research, gender studies, and philosophy of science. Her publications include Fra identitet til forskjell [From Identity to Difference] (Spartacus/Scandinavian Academic Press, 2005) and Kjonnsteori[Gender Theory] (co-ed., Gyldendal Akademisk, 2008).

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