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MULTICULTURALISM AS AN IDENTITY POLITICS AND ITS PARADOXES

Abstract

Author(s): Mehmet ANIK

The general failure of assimilation policies in the Western countries and the growth in the demand for recognition from different people whose identity is ignored have enabled the continuation of various debates within the multiculturalism as an identity politics. Considering the approaches advocating multiculturalism, it is seen that libertarian and communitarian approaches are brought forward as two dominant approaches. While the libertarian approach gives priority to individual rights, the communitarian approach argues that the priority should be given to community and group rights. Both approaches base their claims on different reasons in this context. In this study, firstly, it will be emphasized why identity has become such a foreground nowadays, then it will be focused on the relationship between this and multiculturalism in the context of libertarian and communitarian approaches, and the main paradoxes in these approaches. So, it is aimed to contribute to the scientific literature on this subject by making a unique evaluation in a critical perspective on the dominant in multiculturalism. As the libertarian approach in terms of multiculturalism has included various paradoxes, such as over identification basic human principles like equality and freedom as individual-centered to liberalism and criticism of higher social formations at this point, the communitarian approach that places community and group identities to forefront, and ignores individual differences among them has also various paradoxes in itself.

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