AbstractMultidimensionality and the multicultural situation
Most societies and social institutions are currently characterised by the presence of a multitude of cultures which is an indication of a multicultural situation. Two opposite reductionist proposals for dealing with this situation are those of homogenisers/ universalists and fragmentists/particularists. There is also a dualistic in-between group. The question of this article has two sides: diagnostically it asks about the nature of the reductionism of the three groups. Therapeutically the question is about the conditions for overcoming this reductionism. Diagnostically it is argued that the reductionists deal in a one-sided way with two sets of abstractions of the multicultural situation. More precisely: they do not succeed in holding simultaneously onto important dimensions like coherence and diversity, as well as universality and particularity. Therapeutically it is argued that the latter dimensions of the multicultural situation must be mutually engaged in order for them to empower one another. It is proposed that this can be accomplished by a clear distinction between universal types like culture, justice, morality and so on, and also between these types and their particular manifestations. Furthermore, reductionisms as well as the disengagements of dualism can be avoided if the relationprinciples of parataxis, complementarity and acculturation are adhered to.
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