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Pluralism and the Politics of DifferenceState, Culture, and Ethnicity in Comparative Perspective$
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R. D. Grillo

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294269

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294263.001.0001

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Plural Societies

Plural Societies

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Plural Societies
Source:
Pluralism and the Politics of Difference
Author(s):

R. D. Grillo (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198294263.003.0001

There is no single crisis of the contemporary nation state, but a multiplicity of crises, one of which has centrally to do with ethnicity and cultural difference and how to handle pluralism. Pluralism itself, however, has taken many forms, and three varieties are particularly interesting from a comparative perspective. In early patrimonial societies, as Max Weber called them, those with different ethnic and cultural identities often formed separate corporations within which they had relative autonomy. Under conditions of modernity and industrialism, the emphasis is on homogeneity and assimilation, while contemporary, post‐modern, post‐industrial societies often allow considerable space for heterogeneity and difference.

Keywords:   assimilation, cultural difference, ethnicity, modernity, nation state, patrimonial societies, pluralism, post‐modern societies, Max Weber

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