Pluralism and the Postmodern Condition
In the last third of the twentieth century, contrary to what modernity predicted, ethnic and cultural difference had a high salience, and contemporary societies in Europe and North America felt compelled to recognize this and implement policies of multiculturalism to cope with the demands that emanated from it. The reasons for this shift to the recognition of difference are complex, but it may be partly ascribed to the vast social, economic, and technological changes associated with post‐industrial economies under conditions of neoliberalism and globalization. In countries of immigration, transnationalism, too, enhanced the space of ethnic and cultural pluralism. Yet, pluralism may take many forms, and it is unclear whether the difference that will prevail in contemporary post‐modern societies will take the form of an essentialist version of multiculturalism, or some kind of ‘hybridity’.
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