Pluralism: Cultural Maintenance and Evolution

Series: Multilingual Matters (11)
This book deals with some of the principles of pluralism in a modern Western society. Starting with a detailed examination and illustration of the concept of culture, the book goes on to establish how this comes under attack and has to be modified due to external forces and finally draws the conclusion that for an ethnic group to survive and maintain its culture the group may need to establish some separate structures and institutions. Another theme of the book is that the dominant ethnic group in a society will try to resist and thwart such separatist tendencies in order to maintain its ideological and political hegemony. The general principles mentioned above are illustrated by case study material drawn from Australian experience, with Aborigines and with migrants. The essential task for the theorist is to carry out conceptual mapping and theory building that will shed light on these processes of pluralism, and hopefully point a way towards understanding the pluralist dilemma generated by tensions between the ethnic minorities and the state. This is attempted in the last chapter of the book in which various models of pluralism are examined.