The Crises of Multiculturalism

The Crises of Multiculturalism : Racism in a Neoliberal Age

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Across the West, something called multiculturalism is in crisis. Regarded as the failed experiment of liberal elites, commentators and politicians compete to denounce its corrosive legacies; parallel communities threatening social cohesion, enemies within cultivated by irresponsible cultural relativism, mediaeval practices subverting national 'ways of life' and universal values. This important new book challenges this familiar narrative of the rise and fall of multiculturalism by challenging the existence of a coherent era of 'multiculturalism' in the first place. The authors argue 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. Nested in an established post-racial consensus, new forms of racism draw powerfully on liberalism and questions of 'values', and unsettle received ideas about racism and the 'far right' in Europe. In combining theory with a reading of recent controversies concerning headscarves, cartoons, minarets and burkas, Lentin and Titley trace a transnational crisis that travels and is made to travel, and where rejecting multiculturalism is central to laundering increasingly acceptable forms of racism.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 296 pages
  • 138 x 212 x 22mm | 381.02g
  • ZED BOOKS LTD
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1848135815
  • 9781848135819
  • 206,597

About Alana Lentin

Alana Lentin is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, University of Sussex, UK. Gavan Titley is Lecturer in the School of English, Media and Theatre Studies, National University of Ireland Maynooth, Ireland.

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Review quote

'Alana Lentin and Gavan Titley offer a powerful and persuasive account of how multiculturalism has been sentenced to death. Drawing on a vast array of sources, voices and examples, they show how laments on the failure of multiculturalism create a political and affective landscape in which racism is simultaneously repudiated and reproduced. A necessary and important book.' Sara Ahmed, Professor of Race and Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College 'This book provides a rich and scholarly analysis of the multiple forces at play in the construction of the "death of multiculturalism" as a flexible and potent political discourse. Incisive and provocative in it's analysis; it is uncomfortable reading for those on both the left and right in politics. This is necessary reading for anyone concerned with the complex masking of racism within the rhetorical dance of national identities and globalized neo-liberal ideologies.' Charles Husband, Centre for Applied Social Research, University of Bradford 'The Crises of Multiculturalism critically examines the entanglements inherent in the broad range of European multiculturalisms today, their "loud" rejection and yet a melancholic neediness expressed in their bemoaning. The analysis is especially incisive about the ways in which an "era of integration," as multiculturalism's contemporary expression, seeks insecurely to assert authoritative control and security in the face of threatening and fearful expressions of a burgeoning multiculture supposedly marking European nations. The authors reveal how the politics of multiculturalism continue to structure, reproduce, and render less visible contemporary racisms.Those concerned to understand the synchrony of multiculturalism, integration, and revitalized racisms across the European landscape would do well to consult this book.' David Theo Goldberg, University of California 'Neoliberalism is deeply connected to racism: austerity, exclusion, the restriction of rights and withdrawal of freedoms -- hallmarks of both these despotic phenomena -- all mark their congruence and indeed interdependence. But in Europe and elsewhere as well the new racist regime has employed the seemingly benign and tolerant trope of multiculturalism to mask its malevolence. Lentin and Titley's fierce critique of this strategy provides a much-needed critical analysis of multiculturalism's ineffectuality in opposing the racism rising in Europe today. This book points out how racism cannot be understood as a matter of cultural difference. This book exposes the repressive assumptions that shape the politics of multiculturalism and that place the burden of inclusion on those seen as "different" and "other," rather than on the regimes of privilege and hierarchy that target immigrants, Muslims, and blacks in their effort to maintain a white "fortress Europe." The smiling rhetoric of tolerance, we learn here, is still produced by sharp white teeth. Highly recommended!' Howard Winant, UC Santa Barbara, Director, University of California Center for New Racial Studies

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Table of contents

* Preface, by Gary Younge* Introduction and Acknowledgments* Part I: Recited Truths: the Contours of Multicultural Crisis*1. The New Certainties*2. Recited Truths*3. The Comforts of Crisis*4. The Recited Truths of (British) Multiculturalism: a Rough Guide*5. Species of Blowback*6. The Long Unsettled Settlement* Part II: Let's Talk About Your Culture: Post-Race, Post-Racism*7. Introduction: 'Race is Irrelevant, But All Is Race'*8. Reflections on Reflections: Can Europe be Racialized with Cultural People in it?*9. The Apparatus of Race*10. No Race, No Power, New Problems*11. An Era of Post-Racialism*12. The Ascent of Culture*13. The Fault-Lines of Postracialism* Part III: Free Like Me: the Polyphony of Liberal Postracialism*14. From Evil to Relativism*15. In the Mirror, Through the Looking Glass*16. Liberal Populism, and Populist Liberalism*17. Europe's Prime Multicultural Experiment*18. The New Realism*19. Liberal Populism, and Populist Liberalism*20. The Polyphony of 'Identity Liberalism'* Part IV: Mediating the Crisis: Circuits of Belief*21. Mediated Minarets*22. From Integration Debates to Integration Events*23. The Diminishing Returns of Honesty and Openness*24. Genres of Event*25. Something Rotten, etc, etc*26. Recited Truths, Circuits of Belief*27. Petri-Dish Cities*28. Coda: On Critics* Part V: Good and Bad Diversity: the Shape of Neoliberal Racisms*29. Introduction: Pragmatic, Elastic, Ubiquitous*30. Analysing Contamination*31. Racy: Racial Neoliberalism and the Privatization of Race*32. Privatizing Racism*33. The Promise, and Problem of Diversity*34. Love Diversity, Hate Racism*35. Diversity Politics, and the Politics of Diversity*36. Conclusion: the Burka as Bad Diversity and Governmental Event* Part VI: On One More Condition: the Politics of Integration Today*37. Introduction*38. The Rise of Domopolitics*39. Integrating the Sexual Nation*40. Not Free Enough: Sexual Repression as a Barrier to Integration* References and Bibliography

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