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Found in Multiculturalism

Acceptance or Challenge?

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Edited By Izabela Handzlik and Lukasz Sorokowski

This book aims to assemble a variety of perspectives that have shaped the development of multicultural studies over the last years, and which today attempt at comprising the main contending lines of approach to both teaching and research within this rapidly expanding area of inquiry. Conceived as a panorama of diverse multicultural manifestations, it seeks to respond to the needs of a readership sharing an undivided interest in the labyrinthine nature of multiculturalism. In doing so, it endeavours to make the convoluted debates underlying the foundations of the social sciences and humanities more accessible to the uninitiated and is aimed at both academics specialising in the area and readers eager to broaden their horizons.
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Is a rainbow society possible? Sociological challenges in the age of postmodern multiculturalism

Introduction

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Abstract: Sociology was established as a modern science that deals with modern society, i.e. a form of socialisation in which there is, by definition, one operative culture and a system of specific norms common to all. The contemporary state of affairs is at times labelled postmodern, as the place traditionally occupied by a society is being taken over by entities of social life which incessantly reproduce social reality, which, however, has ceased to be one coherent entirety. Due to an unparalleled development of means of mass communication, the symbolic culture thanks to which members of a given society could believe to share a common identity has been ripped away from the social structure and today reaches beyond all conceivable borders and limits. The modern “normative order” is giving way to the “post-normative disorder”. Culture itself, in turn, stops being identified with a community of people living within its boundaries and sharing the same normative system; it is increasingly more often associated with the plurality and diversity of their choices. This explains why a rainbow-coloured flag reflects the contemporary world much more accurately than a traditional national flag. For sociology, the multicultural face of social life is a real challenge.

Keywords: sociology, society, multiculturalism, rainbow

Sociology began as an intellectual response to the breakthrough experience of the demise of the traditional form of social order and the advent of a completely new one in Western Europe in the nineteenth century – a truly modern system hinging...

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