Projects per year
The aim of this article is to present a conceptualization of cultural groups and cultural difference that provides a middle course between the Scylla of essentialism and the Charybdis of reductionism. The method I employ is the social mechanism approach. I argue that cultural groups and cultural difference should be understood as the result of cognitive and social processes of categorization. I describe two such processes in particular: categorization by others and selfcategorization. Categorization by others is caused by processes of ascription: the attribution by outsiders of certain characteristics, beliefs, and practices to individuals who share a specific attribute. Self-categorization is caused by processes of inscription and community-building: the adoption of certain beliefs and practices as a result of socialization and enculturation. I therefore shift the focus from groups to categories, and from categories to processes of categorization. I show that this analytical distinction between categorization by others and self-categorization can clarify an ambiguity in dominant debates in contemporary multiculturalism. I conclude by indicating how injustices, commonly associated with multiculturalism, can better be understood as socially generated injustices, and how government should deal with these injustices.
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|
The Interconnectedness of Law and Ethics - Normative Philosophical Consequences for the State and the Citizen
Pierik, R. H. M., van Bijsterveld, S. C., van den Brink, H. H. A. & van der Burg, W.
1/01/00 → 31/12/04
Project: Research project