Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cultural pluralism is a widely used term that has application to and relevance for education. Culture can be defined as a common set of values, beliefs, and social practices, as well as the group of people who share that similar identity. The word usually applies to ethnicity and race—for example, African American culture or German culture—but more contentiously, it may apply to groups of individuals who share traits or similar beliefs, for example, the gay culture or the Christian culture. Pluralism describes a situation in which the diversity among the cultures of different groups is an accepted part of a civil society. This entry examines what is involved in cultural pluralism and looks at its application in education. How a cultural group is formed and identified varies significantly. Some cultures are identified by an obvious trait or characteristic: skin color, ethnicity, race, gender, and the like. Other cultures involve people ...