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Cultural relativism and multiculturalism

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  1. The project of multiculturalism
  2. An equal respect for all cultures
  3. Assimilation and multiculturalism

Nowadays, we observe a developing phenomenon of identity-assertion and an increasing number of requests for recognition of cultural specificities. Globalization and massive immigration create a melting pot. There are now 175 million international migrants (twice more than in 1965), and it is mostly a matter of local migration. Therefore, the rupture with the country of origin is less important and cultural identities remain strong. In countries of immigration, the issue of cultural difference is propelled into the public arena, with questions such as the wearing of the Islamic veil, female circumcision and arranged marriages. The assertions of identity and the protection of cultural specificities are now an important factor in formulating collective requests. Multiculturalism can be an answer to these demands. We can define it as an historical set of political programs, intellectual discussions and practical experiences which aim at guaranteeing the recognition of cultural specificities.

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