Multiculturalism: A Clarification of the Concept
Three interrelated, but nevertheless distinctive, referents of 'multiculturalism' and its related adjective 'multicultural' which can be distinguished in public debate and discussion are: the demographic-descriptive, the ideological-normative and the programmatic-political.
The demographic-descriptive usage occurs where 'multicultural' is used to refer to the existence of ethnically or racially diverse segments in the population of a society or State. It represents a perception that such differences have some social significance-primarily because of perceived cultural differences though these are frequently associated with forms of structural differentiation. The precise ethnic groupings which exist in a State, the significance of ethnicity for social participation in societal institutions and the processes through which ethnic differentiation is constructed and maintained may vary considerably between individual States, and over time.
In the programmatic-political usage 'multiculturalism' refers to specific types of programs and policy initiatives designed to respond to and manage ethnic diversity. It was in this usage that 'multiculturalism' first...