Multiculturalism is a body of thought in political
philosophy about the proper way to respond to cultural and religious diversity.
Mere toleration of group differences is said to fall short of treating members
of minority groups as equal citizens; recognition and positive accommodation of
group differences are required through “group-differentiated rights,” a term
coined by Will Kymlicka (1995). Some group-differentiated rights are held by
individual members of minority groups, as in the case of individuals who are
granted exemptions from generally applicable laws in virtue of their religious
beliefs or individuals who seek language accommodations in schools or in
voting. Other group-differentiated rights are held by the group qua group
rather by its members severally; such rights are properly called group rights,
as in the case of indigenous groups and minority nations, who claim the right of
self-determination. In the latter respect, multiculturalism is closely allied
Jun 4th, 2014
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