Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Omniculturalism - LSE lecture

It is not a new policy problem. The Romans had to deal with it. The Ottomans had their methods: incorporating different cultures into one state. The modern name is multiculturalism or assimilation? Neither seem to be viable. At the London School of Economics (LSE Public Lectures and Events) Professor Fathali Moghaddam was invited to present his alternative coined Omniculturalism.

Moghaddam first of all makes a point of showing how neither multiculturalism nor assimilation can be successful. Multiculturalism, as it accepts difference, is just too naive - we all know that. But Moghaddam's strength is how he shows very convincingly the fatal conceptual weakness of multiculturalism; how it cannot work psychologically and how it is too relativistic. Similarly he defeats assimilation.

His alternative omniculturalism seems to me closer to multiculturalism, just a little less naive. In stead of putting all the differences cheerfully in the forefront, omniculturalism begins by stating what people have in common. It argues that education should be based on that and only secondarily, and inevitably, we will find our differences, but having started from common ground, it will be easier to accept each other and resolve conflict.

More LSE Events:
Controversies in the Economics of Climate Change,
Nudge: decision architecture,
The EU and the Middle East,
The British Mandate in Palestine,
Iran Today.
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