Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Brenda X. Mejia & Marie L. Miville
The term multiculturalism refers to a perspective in which diversity in backgrounds and experiences related to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, education status, and socioeconomic class is recognized. In the United States, multiculturalism has been described as a social movement that celebrates and values pluralism , or differences between individuals and groups. From a political stance, pluralism ensures that all citizens of society are affirmed and that the fundamental principles of democracy are honored. Multiculturalism advances the view that the cultural heritages and experiences of different racial and ethnic groups are legitimate and enrich society at all levels. As a movement, multiculturalism values the dignity, human rights, and diversity of people. Concern for multiculturalism evolved out of sociopolitical movements and educational approaches. Historically, multiculturalism became integrated into official government policies following the civil rights movements of the latter 20th century, which sought to terminate racism, sexism, and ...