The movement led by women of color disputed the idea, common to earlier feminist movements, that women were a homogeneous category who shared the same life experiences. This argument stemmed from the realization that white middle-class women did not serve as an accurate representation of the feminist movement as a whole.
References and Further Reading 1. The Concepts of Culture in Contemporary Political Theory Multiculturalism is before anything else a theory about culture and its value.
Hence, to understand what multiculturalism is it is indispensable that the meaning of culture is clarified.
In this section, five concepts of culture that are predominant in contemporary political philosophy are outlined: As Festenstein points out, these are not competing conceptions of culture, where each selects a distinct set of necessary and sufficient conditions for the right application of the predicate.
Contrastingly, all these conceptions of culture defend, even though in slightly different ways, the idea that culture is constitutive of personal identity. Therefore, it is possible to simultaneously defend, say, a semiotic conception of culture and admit that a culture may have normative, societal, economic and cosmopolitan features.
The Semiotic Perspective The semiotic conception of culture was very popular in the s, and has its roots in classic social anthropology.
Social anthropologists like Margaret Mead, Levi-Straus and Malinowski considered culture as a set of social systems, symbols, representations and practices of signification held by a certain group.
Thus, from this perspective, a culture is defined as a system of ideals or structures of symbolic meaning. Put differently, according to this view, culture should be understood as a symbolic system which in turn is a way of communication which represents the world.
This form of communication is based on symbols, underlying structures and beliefs or ideological principles. One of the philosophers endorsing this perspective of culture is Parekh According to Parekhp. These self-understandings necessarily have to have meaning.
Hence, the thesis that human beings are self-interpreting animals presupposes that human existence is constituted by meaning. In turn, this implies that human beings are also language animals. By language, what is meant are all modes of expression music, spoken language, art and so forth Taylor, b.
That is to say, language is, at least primarily, a result of the interaction of individuals with their own cultural community Taylor, ; b. Thus, culture is a system of symbolic meaning.
Bearing this in mind, it can be argued that the study of culture from the semiotic perspective is the analysis or elucidation of meaning. As in hermeneutics, where the reader has to interpret the meaning of a text, in culture one has to interpret its internal logic Festenstein, The symbolism, sign process or system of meaning underlying this action is what, according to the point of view of semiotics, culture is, and this is what should be studied.
The Normative Conception The normative conception of culture is usually adopted by communitarians.
From this point of view, culture is important because it is what provides beliefs, norms and moral reasons, prompting individuals to act. Hence, part of what a person is includes their moral commitments; their practical identity is made up of these moral commitments, while their reasons to act are motivated by their moral commitments.
By way of illustration, part of what a Christian, a Muslim and a Jew are is constituted by the fact they abide or follow the moral teachings of the Bible, the Quran and the Torah, respectively.
According to her, culture is a world view, both comprehensive and distinguishable, whereby community law is able to be created. To minority groups that have a culture, Shachar a, p. The normative conception of culture is usually associated with the semiotic, in the sense that one does not contradict the other; in fact, they may be complementary.
For instance, Taylor endorses both perspectives of culture. However, this is not necessary because the system of meaning and significance does not need to provide moral reasons in order to motivate action. From the semiotic perspective, what someone is is not necessarily his or her moral commitments; it can be anything within the system.
Taylor considers that individuals are self-interpreting animals. The fact that individuals are thus entails that human existence is constituted by meanings.
This refers to the distinctions of worth that individuals make regarding objects of desire. In other words, it is a background of distinctions between things that individuals consider important or worthy and those things which are considered less valuable.
From the normative perspective of culture, individuals direct their lives and purposes towards what they consider morally worthwhile.The concept of field is being used more and more today in North American sociology as well as in Europe. There are three major and distinct if overlapping variants of field theory in the social sciences: the social-psychological perspective associated with the psychologist Kurt Lewin, the.
In my lifetime, there has been an insidious encroachment of third world immigrants upon the quiet neighborhoods which used to comprise the suburbs of the northeast. Nati Cabrera School of Cooperation, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya Spain eLearn Center, Researcher.
School of Cooperation, Lecturer. Multiculturalism and Sociology as Fields: Durkheim, Weber, and Mead: An analysis of theories Before analyzing the Durkheimian approach to multicultural studies, let’s explain the concept of multiculturalism.
Multiculturalism: The secondary thread the Three R’s- and they have become merciless (Mead, p. . Multiculturalism. Cultural diversity has been present in societies for a very long time. In Ancient Greece, there were various small regions with different costumes, traditions, dialects and identities, for example, those from Aetolia, Locris, Doris and Epirus.
1. The claims of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is closely associated with “identity politics,” “the politics of difference,” and “the politics of recognition,” all of which share a commitment to revaluing disrespected identities and changing dominant patterns of representation and communication that marginalize certain groups (Gutmann , Taylor , Young ).