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Appears in Collections:History and Politics eTheses
Title: Citizenship and the accommodation of cultural minorities
Author(s): Chung, Paul C.K.
Supervisor(s): Baumeister, Andrea
Hope, Simon
Keywords: citizenship
cultural diversity
Will Kymlicka
Bhikhu Parekh
Brian Barry
intercultural dialogue
social unity
British identity
cultural minorities
minority groups
disadvantaged groups
cultural practices
cultural beliefs
cultural inequalities
shared values
unity and diversity
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: The concept of citizenship can be said to be historically linked to rights associated with membership in a political community. These include civil, political and social rights. However, in the context of cultural diversity, these rights are arguably insufficient for cultural minorities, who by virtue of their membership in a minority group are disadvantaged. Therefore, the challenge is how to remedy this disadvantage and secure equal citizenship for cultural minorities. This thesis considers the work of three contemporary theorists who have provided innovative responses to this challenge: Will Kymlicka, Bhikhu Parekh and Brian Barry. Kymlicka and Parekh are both multicultural theorists whose general aim is to protect the integrity of minority groups via the notion of group-differentiated rights. However, Kymlicka’s framework focuses on the promotion of individual autonomy, which is problematic in lieu of the fact that culturally diverse societies will contain groups that do not attach primacy to liberal principles. Parekh’s framework fares better because it focuses on the value of cultural diversity and recognises that in the context of genuine diversity, establishing fair terms of justice for different communities involves intercultural dialogue. However, Parekh’s framework is let down by an implicit association with liberal values and a vague conception of how intercultural dialogue should proceed during hard cases of disagreement. An alternative to the multiculturalist approach is the work of Brian Barry who dismisses the notion of group-differentiated rights altogether as he believes the universal conception of citizenship will suffice in accommodating minority groups. However, Barry’s framework misses the mark because he fails to understand the significance of culture to its adherents and moreover, his position is arguably closer to the multiculturalist position than he concedes. To secure equal citizenship for disadvantaged cultural minorities, this thesis argues that a contextual approach to intercultural dialogue constitutes the most plausible response to hard cases of disagreements between majority and minority communities, and, furthermore, it argues that a contextual approach to intercultural dialogue can give rise to a common set of values and commitments that can underline an overarching British identity.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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