Multiculturalism and American democracy

Multiculturalism and American democracy

Is it the face of twenty-first-century America or merely a passing intellectual fad? The contributors to this volume address the pros and cons of multiculturalism and explore its relationship with liberal democracy. Offering viewpoints on multiculturalism from the perspectives of political theory, history, philosophy, and fiction, they help to explain what the multiculturalism controversy is about and clarify the concerns it should raise for thoughtful citizens.

The Future of American Democracy

A Former Congressman's Unconventional Analysis

The Future of American Democracy

Former congressman Browder is worried that the current trends of American democracy might result in a "Union of Socialist States of America" or worse. He suggests that we're suffering from a "cumulative distemper" in which we may be tiring of America's "historic Great Experiment." He offers vague prescriptions about embarking on a "National Democratic Renaissance" and rediscovering the "essence of our American nation." Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR.

Pluralism, Pragmatism and American Democracy

A Minority Report

Pluralism, Pragmatism and American Democracy

This book presents the author’s many and varied contributions to the revival and re-evaluation of American pragmatism. The assembled critical perspective on contemporary pragmatism in philosophy emphasizes the American tradition of cultural pluralism and the requirements of American democracy. Based partly on a survey of the literature on interest-group pluralism and critical perspectives on the politics of globalization, the monograph argues for reasoned caution concerning the practical effects of the revival. Undercurrents of “vulgar pragmatism” including both moral and epistemic relativism threaten the intellectual and moral integrity of American thought – and have contributed to the present sense of political crisis. The text chiefly contributes to the evaluation of the contemporary influence of the philosophy of John Dewey (1859–1952) and his late development of the classical pragmatist tradition. In comparison to Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), William James (1842–1910), and earlier currents of American thought, Dewey’s philosophy, dominated by its overall emphasis on unification, is weaker in its support for the pluralism of cultural and religious contributions which have lent moral self-restraint to American policy and politics, both foreign and domestic. With all due homage to Dewey’s conception of philosophy, centered on human problems and the need for our ameliorative efforts, the argument is that in the contemporary revival, Dewey’s thought has been too often captured by “post-modernist” bandwagons of self-promotion and institutional control. This work defends democratic individualism against more collectivist and corporatist tendencies in contemporary neo-pragmatism, and it draws upon up-to-date political analysis in defense of America’s long republican tradition. Pragmatism will not and cannot be removed from, or ignored, in American intellectual and moral history; and its influence on disciplines from law to politics, sociology and literary criticism has been immense. However, pragmatism has often been weak in commitment to cultural pluralism and in its accounts of truth.

Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt

Toward a Secular Theocracy

Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt

Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt extends Paul Gottfried’s examination of Western managerial government’s growth in the last third of the twentieth century. Linking multiculturalism to a distinctive political and religious context, the book argues that welfare-state democracy, unlike bourgeois liberalism, has rejected the once conventional distinction between government and civil society. Gottfried argues that the West’s relentless celebrations of diversity have resulted in the downgrading of the once dominant Western culture. The moral rationale of government has become the consciousness-raising of a presumed majority population. While welfare states continue to provide entitlements and fulfill the other material programs of older welfare regimes, they have ceased to make qualitative leaps in the direction of social democracy. For the new political elite, nationalization and income redistributions have become less significant than controlling the speech and thought of democratic citizens. An escalating hostility toward the bourgeois Christian past, explicit or at least implicit in the policies undertaken by the West and urged by the media, is characteristic of what Gottfried labels an emerging “therapeutic” state. For Gottfried, acceptance of an intrusive political correctness has transformed the religious consciousness of Western, particularly Protestant, society. The casting of “true” Christianity as a religion of sensitivity only toward victims has created a precondition for extensive social engineering. Gottfried examines late-twentieth-century liberal Christianity as the promoter of the politics of guilt. Metaphysical guilt has been transformed into self-abasement in relation to the “suffering just” identified with racial, cultural, and lifestyle minorities. Unlike earlier proponents of religious liberalism, the therapeutic statists oppose anything, including empirical knowledge, that impedes the expression of social and cultural guilt in an effort to raise the self-esteem of designated victims. Equally troubling to Gottfried is the growth of an American empire that is influencing European values and fashions. Europeans have begun, he says, to embrace the multicultural movement that originated with American liberal Protestantism’s emphasis on diversity as essential for democracy. He sees Europeans bringing authoritarian zeal to enforcing ideas and behavior imported from the United States. Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt extends the arguments of the author’s earlier After Liberalism. Whether one challenges or supports Gottfried’s conclusions, all will profit from a careful reading of this latest diagnosis of the American condition.

The Great Diversity Debate

Embracing Pluralism in School and Society

The Great Diversity Debate

“Will American’s growing diversity undermine democracy, or is it instead a cornerstone of democracy? The Great Diversity Debate is essential reading for anyone who has thought about this question. Koppelman gives us a fascinating, detailed, and evenhanded account of the long historical roots of contemporary controversies surrounding flashpoint issues like affirmative action, multicultural education, and globalization. This well-researched and optimistic book will make you think about, and maybe even re-think, such issues.” —Christine Sleeter, Professor Emerita, California State University Monterey Bay and President, National Association for Multicultural Education Based on research from multiple disciplines, The Great Diversity Debate describes the presence and growth of diversity in the United States from its earliest years to the present. The author describes the evolution of the concept of pluralism from a philosophical term to a concept used in many disciplines and with global significance. Rather than assuming that diversity is a benefit, Koppelman investigates the ways in which diversity is actually experienced and debated across critical sectors of social experience, including immigration, affirmative action, education, and national identity, among others. Koppelman takes the sometimes complicated arguments for and against diversity in school and in society and lays out the benefits with great clarity and simplicity making this book accessible to a large audience. Book Features: A broad view of diversity in the United States based on research from philosophy, psychology, sociology, political science, economics, and more. Cogent arguments from both advocates and critics concerning whether pluralism represents an appropriate response to diversity in a democratic society. An overview of multicultural education, including its origins and its current emphasis on strategies such as culturally responsive teaching. Contents: The Diversity Debate The Growth of Diversity and Pluralism: The Impact of Immigration Pluralism and Democracy: Complementary or Contradictory? Diversity and Discrimination: The Argument over Affirmative Action The Struggle for Identity: What Does It Mean to Be an American? Multicultural Education in K–12 Schools: Preparing Children and Youth to Function Effectively in a Diverse, Democratic Society Globalization, Diversity, and Pluralism: Finding the Common Ground Kent Koppelman is professor emeritus of teacher education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Multiculturalism and Democracy in North Africa

Aftermath of the Arab Spring

Multiculturalism and Democracy in North Africa

Investigating the connections between multiculturalism, minorities, citizenship, and democracy in North Africa, this book argues that multiculturalism in this region– and in the Arab world at large – has reached a significant level in terms of scale and importance. In the rest of the world, there has been a trend – albeit a contested one – toward a greater recognition of minority rights. The Arab world however, particularly North Africa, seems to be an exception to this trend, as Arab states continue to promote highly unitary and homogenizing ideas of nationhood and state unity, whilst discouraging, or even forbidding, minority political mobilization. The central theoretical premise of this book is that North Africa is a multicultural region, where culture is inherently linked to politics, religion, gender, and society, and a place where democracy is gradually taking root despite many political and economic hurdles. Addressing the lacuna in literature on this issue, this book opens new avenues of thought and research on diversity, linking policy based on cultural difference to democratic culture and to social justice. Multiculturalism and Democracy in North Africa will be of use to students and researchers with an interest in Sociology, Cultural Studies, and Political Science more broadly.

Democracy, Multiculturalism, and the Community College

A Critical Perspective

Democracy, Multiculturalism, and the Community College

A critical examination of America's community colleges based on five case studies and the democratic educational strategies developed by John Dewey. The authors suggest that community colleges must find balance between three traditional roles: transfer, vocational, and community education. Additionally, they consider institutional restructuring tha.

Identity in Democracy

Identity in Democracy

Do voluntary groups like the Boy Scouts have a right to discriminate on grounds of sexual preference, gender, or race?"--BOOK JACKET.

Constitutional Democracy in a Multicultural and Globalised World

Constitutional Democracy in a Multicultural and Globalised World

After World War II, states transformed into ‘collective fortresses’ in order to protect competing ideological systems. The debate on post-modern statehood heavily built on ideological disputes between liberalism and communism, over the nature of the economic and social system, and the state and government that could sustain such a system. What is an ‘ideologically acceptable’ state-concept; which tasks and fu- tions should the state fulfil, and how to legitimate not only democratic, but also authoritarian and even totalitarian regimes? These questions were at the very centre of state theory. However, after the fall of communism in Europe and the former Soviet Union, the discourse of state and government scholarship radically changed. The need for a profound shift in the state paradigm was emerging. The time after 1989 seemed to proclaim that the nation-state had lost its raison d’être as an island of undisputed and unlimited sovereignty. A globalised world order broke open the ‘fortress state’ that developed within the tradition of European constitutionalism. Given the simultaneous structural changes to the nation-state’s foundations, socio-economic and political reforms going hand in hand with new constitutional designs, the ‘state in transition’ started paving the way towards a new state paradigm, and not only with regard to the states in the process of de- cratic transformation from socialist into liberal constitutional democracies.

Democracy and Multicultural Education

Democracy and Multicultural Education

Democratic political systems and the democratic way of life is aspired by most people around the world. Democracy is considered to be morally superior to other forms of political systems as it aspires to secure civil liberties, human rights, social justice and equality before the law for everyone regardless of their gender, culture, religion and national origin. Enshrined in democracy is separation of religion and state, fair and competitive elections of leaders according to a country’s constitution which in turn is based on democratic ideals. Democracy aspires for people of different backgrounds to live together with their differences intact, but all contributing towards a better life for all. In today’s increasingly pluralistic societies many people of different cultural and national backgrounds are brought together. Many have migrated from countries with autocratic political systems. Some with religions that require them to behave in different way, others with cultures teaching them values of harmony, collectivism and conformity as opposed to the culture of their host country emphasizing individualism and cherishing differences. Hence, in multicultural societies development of pluralistic democracy, a democracy which includes respect for diversity is essential. A truly multicultural education which is based on the assumption that different cultures will be equally represented in education goes a long way towards education for democratic citizenship. Such an education would make students aware of issues of human rights and justice and encourage them to define their own values and ways in which they could contribute to a better world. The aim of this volume is to provide a forum for discussion of how multiple social perspectives and personal values can be brought together on common grounds around matters related to democracy. Contributions from research, and scholarly theoretical work as well as presentation of existing creative models of democracy education will be included. Authors from the major democracies will comment on the models and practice of multicultural education in their respective countries, to facilitate discussion and learning from each others’ experiences.