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
Multiculturalism, Philosophical Implications
Shewn Andrea Frazer-Burgess
Historically, multiculturalism is a forty-year movement for social equality of subcultural groups based on race or ethnicity, class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and physical disability. Beginning in the educational sector in the 1970s and expanding to the social and political arenas, multiculturalism has progressively challenged the dominance of racially White, Anglo-Saxon culture and raised questions about the meaning and significance of pluralism in American society. Questions raised by multiculturalism about equality and parity of culture have strong implications in philosophical areas of political philosophy and epistemology. In political philosophy, justly accommodating culture within liberal, democratic theories of government is the vexing puzzle that multiculturalism poses. For epistemology, multiculturalism calls into question the privileging of the Enlightenment epistemic norms of truth and universality of reason. This entry briefly describes the concept and its implications for politics and epistemology. Throughout its history, multiculturalism has been an evolving social phenomenon. At its earliest ...