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March 03 , 2010

The Crises of Multiculturalism

Racism in a Neoliberal Age


Across the West, something called multiculturalism is in crisis. Commentators and politicians compete to denounce the corrosive legacies of the failed experiment of multiculturalism: parallel communities threatening social cohesion; enemies within cultivated by irresponsible cultural relativism; medieval practices subverting our values and way of life. The Crises of Multiculturalism challenges this familiar narrative by questioning whether a coherent era of multiculturalism ever existed. This important new book argues that what we are witnessing is not so much a rejection of multiculturalism as a projection of neoliberal anxieties onto the social realities of lived multiculture. In combining theory with a reading of recent controversies concerning headscarves, cartoons, minarets and burkas, Lentin and Titley trace a transnational crisis, where rejecting multiculturalism is central to laundering increasingly acceptable forms of racism.

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