Multiculturalism stands for the presence or support for the existence of several cultural or ethnic groups within a society or country. It is of the view that cultural differences of minority’s groups should be respected and encouraged within a dominant political culture.
Listed below, are five books on multiculturalism recommended by sociology professionals and other education experts.
- Multicultural citizenship by Will Kymlicka: The author thinks that granting individual freedom to multicultural groups is the highest good any country can do. Giving multicultural citizenship is all about extending the political scenario to accommodate minority groups. He claims that this will eventually lead to individuals having and leading more fulfilled lives and developing themselves as human beings. The author also proves that multiculturalism is not an enemy to integration as believed by many. It is also vastly different from assimilation which means being part of the majority population.
- Rethinking multiculturalism by Bhiku Parekh: The author has a different take on multiculturalism. He thinks that both people and community groups are essential in multiculturalism. He feels that individual freedom is essential and that there lies a certain fulfilment by being a part of a specific group. This may lead to clashes between individual rights and group rights, but there are ways to accommodate both. He talks about cases like female circumcision which is practised in some cultures and by some individuals. It can be interpreted in very different ways in different societies and hence denies the cultures a chance to promote and build on their customs and beliefs.
- The home we build together by Jonathan Sacks: He advocated strong communities and diversity. The groups should have the liberty to have space to be different and be faithful to their own traditions. The book has defensive undertones and is more about what multiculturalism means and how much it is advocated. He also supports a strict way of standard rules of society and certain political values.
- Multiculturalism with culture by Anne Phillips: Many of the controversies about multiculturalism revolves around women and have arguments about gender. Issues like the burqa, female circumcision, polygamy, age of consent of marriage, arranged marriages are all related to the female gender. So, having a feminist being critical of multiculturalism stems from the fact that they feel it leads to selling short women’s rights. The author thinks it is possible to find a middle path which respects the cultural differences on one hand and women’s rights on the other.
- Still not easy being British by Tariq Modood: This book focuses on Muslims because many people think that all multiculturalism problems are related to the Muslim identity, politics and Muslim demands on societies. It focuses on the British multiculturalism setup. The author realised that Britishness and multiculturalism are compatible. Refuting claims that Muslims don’t fit into the secular country, he argues that the fact that Britain is secular is because it includes religious people and finds space for them in the public affairs of the country.