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Multicultural Shades

by
March 2005, no. 269

Haunted Nations: The colonial dimensions of multiculturalisms by Sneja Gunew

Routledge, $63 pb, 179pp, 0 415 28483 X

Multicultural Shades

by
March 2005, no. 269

Multiculturalism has been in a state of political and theoretical decline for more than a decade. Sneja Gunew’s latest book addresses this loss of political commitment and theoretical engagement with one of the most challenging issues of contemporary society. Her effort to reposition the debate is based on the belief that it is necessary to establish new comparative studies of multiculturalism. In the past, multiculturalism was trapped within a national discourse on identity and rights. This tended to confine debate to pragmatic accounts of social policy, folkloric versions of culture and the classic liberal definition of citizenship. Gunew argues that this approach is inadequate given the global flows and transnational links of diasporic communities. Today, multiculturalism needs to be grasped as a process that is both situated in a specific setting and connected to broader forces. In the context of globalisation, the understanding of multiculturalism requires a more complex model of cultural dynamics and social agency.

Nikos Papastergiadis reviews ‘Haunted Nations: The colonial dimensions of multiculturalisms’ by Sneja Gunew

Haunted Nations: The colonial dimensions of multiculturalisms

by Sneja Gunew

Routledge, $63 pb, 179pp, 0 415 28483 X

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