What is Multiculturalism? MulticulturalismJune 28, 2021
Before attempting to define and explain the concepts of multiculturalism and multiculturalism, it is worth remembering that both have their origins in the philosophical view known as pluralism or pluralism.
Briefly and in the most general sense, pluralism is an opinion that emphasizes the importance of diversity instead of being one gender, difference instead of sameness, and many things instead of one, and that, in terms of metaphysics, it argues that the universe consists of one or even more than two irreducible entities (Cevizci 2005, p. 420).
When we apply this understanding of irreducible multiplicity in metaphysics to the phenomena of society and the state, we encounter the following assumptions emphasizing almost one and the same thing:
The source of both multiculturalism and multiculturalism can be based on pluralism or pluralism, which is basically a philosophical view.
It is necessary to protect and encourage the development of various characteristics that make the groups that are considered as minorities unique in the society, in the name of the continuity of social integrity. It is important that the majority, which is in a stronger position in the society, undertakes this.
Laying the groundwork for different religions, ethnic groups, languages, cultures, even autonomous administration regions and functional units under a single state does not weaken but strengthens social unity. Thus, in states that adopt and implement this principle, multiculturalism or cultural pluralism becomes a description of the situation.
The adoption of cultural pluralism by all states and societies with elements such as more than one religion and ethnic group is the best option in terms of politics and in terms of protecting and strengthening human rights.
It has emerged as an important social and political problem to ensure that different ethnic, religious and cultural groups, which emerged with immigration in Western countries or remained from the imperial and colonial periods, live together in harmony. At this point, multiculturalism is the most prominent discourse or approach (Johnston et al. 1994).
Pluralism presents the theoretical framework of how the factual situation and the problems faced can be overcome. This is today seen as a serious challenge for the nation-state idea, which first emerged in Europe and whose aim is to melt ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic differences in one pot and create a nation based on a common history, language and culture.
This challenge, sometimes called “multiculturalism” and sometimes “multiculturalism”, essentially emphasizes the phenomenon of “diversity”, which disrupts all kinds of uniformity, unity and partnership in society (Canatan 2009, p. 80).
The English equivalent of both multiculturalism and multiculturalism is the term multiculturalism. However, in Turkish, it is possible to use two different terms to express these two different situations and to express two different situations.
According to the Canadian political philosopher Will Kymlicka, although the qualities are different, the phenomenon of diversity in Europe is fed from at least three sources. The first and perhaps the source that constitutes the starting point of the phenomenon and problem of multiculturalism is the indigenous minorities, whose history is as old as the history of societies in Europe and still continues to exist to a significant extent.
The cultural diversity reflected by these groups, often referred to as “national minorities”, arises from the integration of cultures that were previously self-governed and concentrated on a certain piece of land under the umbrella of a large state (Kymlica 1998, p. 38).
These cultures generally seek to preserve themselves as separate societies alongside the majority culture and to have various forms of autonomy or self-government in order to maintain their existence as separate societies (ibid.). Indigenous minorities refer to ethnic (people) groups that form a minority within the total population of a state.
These groups are separated from the majority due to their common ethnic (historical, religious, linguistic and other) characteristics and have lived on the territory of the states in question for a long time. Currently, there are more than a hundred indigenous national minorities in Europe, numbering more than one hundred million (Canatan 2009, p. 81).
Multiculturalism, as a concept and problematic that emerged in the West, can be considered together with an understanding of cultural pluralism, as stated above, when evaluated within the framework of the liberal political understanding widely adopted by the West today.
In this context, multiculturalism can be understood as the name of a political-social system, which argues that regardless of its origin, different cultural traditions can live as members of the same society on the basis of equality and that there is no necessity for a problem in such a case (Erdoğan 1998, p.198).
Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Grade 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook