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Attention Seeking

Multiculturalism and the politics of recognition

10:30am, Saturday 16 November 2002, Institut francais
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Multiculturalism is now generally regarded as the only model for a fair society. The idea of a universal culture is considered outdated and even racist. Instead, we are asked to grant equal esteem to every culture, while recognising the unique qualities of each.

This demand for recognition is not confined to ethnicity. Sufferers from undiagnosed symptoms demand medical recognition; gay people demand official recognition for same-sex partnerships; individuals litigate to have grievances endorsed by officialdom; and ethnic groups claim privileged access to historic and artistic artefacts. This one-day conference will explore whether all this is good for social harmony and individual selfrealisation, or simply indulgent and fragmentary.