Multiculturalism and the Foundations of Meaningful Life

Reconciling Autonomy, Identity, and Community

Andrew M. Robinson

  • Published: 2007. Paperback 2008
  • Subject Listing: Anthropology
  • Bibliographic information: 216 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

Theories of liberal multiculturalism seek to reconcile cultural rights with universal liberal principles. Some focus on individual autonomy; others emphasize communal identity. Andrew Robinson argues that liberal multiculturalism can be justified without privileging either. By appealing to the deeper value of meaningful life, he shows how autonomy and community are actually interdependent. He concludes by illustrating - with reference to national and ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, and traditional communities - the policy principles that can be derived from this position.

An innovative account of the theory and practice of liberal multiculturalism, Multiculturalism and the Foundations of Meaningful Life will interest students, scholars, activists and policy makers working in areas of political theory, multiculturalism, indigenous peoples, and ethnic and religious minorities.

"An important and original work on a pressing and difficult issue. Robinson cuts through the standard terms of the liberal-multiculturalism debate and reconfigures them in a way that will fundamentally change the debate. His book is like a breath of fresh air on the subject. ."
-Don Carmichael, co-author of Democracy, Rights and Well-Being in Canada

Part 1: Inspecting the Foundations
1. Why Return to Foundational Assumptions?

Part 2: The Foundations of Meaningful Life
2. Meaningful Life and the Conception of the Person
3. Justifying Cultural Accommodation: Identification, Communities, and Contexts of Value
4. Situated Autonomy and Socialization

Part 3: A Politics of Liberal Multiculturalism
5. Defining Communities and Justifying Accommodation
6. Designing Cultural Accommodation
7. State-Community Relations