Secularism, Assimilation and the Crisis of Multiculturalism

Secularism, Assimilation and the Crisis of Multiculturalism : French Modernist Legacies

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This remarkable study develops a theoretical critique of contemporary discourses on secularism and assimilation, arguing that the perspective of assimilating distinct religious minorities by incorporating them into a secular and supposedly neutral public sphere may be self-subverting. To flesh out this insight, Jansen draws on the paradoxes of assimilation as experienced by the French Jews in the late 19th century through a contextualised reading of Proust's In Search of Lost Time. She proposes a dynamic, critical multiculturalism as an alternative to discourses focusing on secularism, assimilation and integration.

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  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 18mm | 499.99g
  • Amsterdam University Press
  • AmsterdamNetherlands
  • English
  • 9089645969
  • 9789089645968
  • 2,200,975

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Review quote

Jansen's book shows how even the most sophisticated academic views defending secularism and assimilation remain rooted in unexamined 'modernist dichotomies' inherited from French (and to some extent, European) modernism.[-][-]- Rainer Bauboeck, European University Institute [-]"For anyone who seeks to understand the roots of the "deepening crisis of multiculturalism" in Europe, Yolande Jansen's book is required reading. Jansen's brilliant and insightful analysis draws on a variety of fields and lucidly shows how the crisis is a crisis in modernity. Subtly weaving Proust into the argument, she brings a dry subject to life." -- Brian Klug, University of Oxford [-]"This book offers a sharp analysis supported by a surprising array of materials. ... In this way, the author's aim of philosophising in the manner of 'critical activity' rather than composing an ideal theory is successfully achieved." - Carolina Ivanescu, Erasmus University Rotterdam[-] [-]"Highly accessible and up-to-date, Jansen's ambitious and brave analysis provides a very welcome and refreshing examination of issues regarding secularism, assimilation and the crisis of multiculturalism in France. ... This work will definitely appeal to scholars, for whom the approach taken by Jansen may give fresh input in this field, something that is sorely needed." -- Rim-Sarah Alouane, University Tolouse 1-Capitole

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About Yolande Jansen

Yolande Jansen is Socrates professor of humanism in relation to religion and secularity at the VU University Amsterdam and a senior researcher at the Amsterdam Center for Globalisation Studies, University of Amsterdam.|

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