n South African Journal of Higher Education - Multiculturalism and the humanities : perspectives on higher education




The article proposes a departure from the first form of multiculturalism that became predominant from the 1970s in American academic with the "cultural wars" about curriculum reform and the alleged Eurocentrism and "white male" exclusivism of the so-called "canon" of liberal education in the humanities. As distinct from this narrow form of <I>affirmative multiculturalism&lt;/I&gt; various theoretical and methodological approaches to socio-cultural diversity in the humanities are distinguished and evaluated, namely 1) <I>liberal multiculturalism&lt;/I&gt; (the traditionalist, conventional approach), 2} <I>affirmative multiculturalism&lt;/I&gt; (the narrow, activist African-American and Feminist approach), 3) <I>cultural relativism&lt;/I&gt; (the descriptive, uncritical approach), and 4) <I>critical multiculturalism&lt;/I&gt; (a contextualised, critical and self-reflective approach). In conclusion, it is argued that <I>critical multiculturalism&lt;/I&gt; can meet the challenges that the appropriation of socio-cultural diversity entails for the humanities.


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