Multiculturalism (was bourgeois feminism)
cdbrady at attglobal.net
Fri Aug 9 00:34:00 MDT 2002
I appreciate your points, Duy Nguyen.
I think that our definition of multiculturalism needs clarification.
It includes, as I mentioned, the struggle against racism, sexism, ethnic
chauvinism, homophobia, and classism. Multiculturalism is also
anit-colonialist and anti-imperialist. I know there are those who call
themselves multiculturalists who are ethnic chauvinists, or who discount
class as worthy of analysis (I wonder if a study of the class of various
ethnic student groups across the US would show an "upward" tilt in their
leaderships?). For those interested, I highly recommend Peter McLaren's
journal "Multicultural Education" as it coincides with my, and I think
what most hee would agree to be a progressive multiculturalism.
Now whether you agree or not as to the essence of the movement, there is
general agreement about the above mention of class. And there is our
point. As Takaki noted, class has been ignored in the mix. So?
Because multiculturalism has been, to a great degree accepted, it
provides an excellent vehicle for the introduction of class analysis.
I believe multiculturalism has been opportunistically appropriated by
bourgeois intellectuals who wish to defuse discontent in the
globalization project (as you hinted at in your last).
I also believe we should examine such notions as "underclass" --which I
feel to be a derogatory classification by bourgeois sociologists of a
persecuted and impoverished layer of our working classes. Further,
beyond a 19th century focus on a heavy industrial proletariat, I think
we should embrace a more inclusive working class taht includes the
workers you mentioned. The relations to the means of production, i.e.,
capital, must be our criteria.
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