Assoc.Prof. R.Rzayeva: Multiculturalism and postmodern value aims
Multiculturalism and postmodern value aims
Roida Oktay Rzayeva
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Assoc. Prof., Deputy Director, Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Law Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences
European Journal of Research on Education
"Postmodernism" is one of often used terms in a periodical of humanities trend. The replacement of a dominating intellectual paradigm meant the transition from one cultural context to another which is always characterized by transformation of cultural codes and systems of values. This transformation is expressed in changes of cultural, religious norms, outlooks on macro- and microlevels, that is, social, personal, etc. Today's socio-cultural situation can be characterized as abolition of “classical” model of culture and a cult of high samples. In the context of value transformations the efforts are directed at designing of the new culture based on multicultural understanding of a society, causing value pluralism. The component of the postmodern program is seen in the multiculturalism project, assuming the creation of a global community with a set of cultures which have the right to existence and should cause respect. The ideological and political contexts of multiculturalism include both positive and the negative relation to multiculturalism as a phenomenon. The today's multiculturalist condition means dialogue, and multiculturalism is regarded as a new philosophy of interaction. Achievement of communicative culture of a pluralistic society is seen in overcoming of bounds own normative nature by means of dialogue, forming of the value consensuses.
© 2013European Journal of Research on Education by IASSR.
Keywords: postmodern, multiculturalism, culture, values, interdisciplinarity;
"Postmodernism" is one of often used terms in a periodical of humanities trend. The phenomenon of “postmodernism” is in the focus of philosophical interest now and, first of all, because it expresses some kind of philosophizing that is characteristic for modern culture.
The replacement of a dominating intellectual paradigm meant the transition from one cultural context to another which is always characterized by transformation of cultural codes and systems of values.
In this light the principle of “value revaluation” (Nietzsche) or revision of values, acting as a characteristic feature of postmodern, becomes topical. The call it the value “postmodernism syndrome” too. This transformation is expressed in changes of cultural, religious norms, outlooks on macro- and microlevels, that is, social, personal, etc.
Today's socio-cultural situation can be characterized as abolition of “classical” model of culture and a cult of high samples.
In the context of value transformations the efforts are directed at designing of the new culture based on multicultural understanding of a society, causing value pluralism.
A need in an integrated approach to the problems of social changes requires interdisciplinary arrangement of studies. The concept «interdisiplinarity» is one of the main features of a modern science and intellectual activity. (Mejdistsiplinarnost v naukax i filosofii, 2010: 6).
The philosophy – as a sort of meta-language – serves as a method of understanding the socio-cultural whole and its aspects at a junction of a number of sciences, the system description of an object. Thus, namely the philosophy allows us to contemplate a problem on a joint of some sciences, being some kind of adequate language for understanding specificity of the subject of studying.
Today multiculturalism is characterized as ideology, policy and also as a discourse what leads to extension of the multiculturalism agenda and its becoming actual. At the same time multiculturalism, being discourse type itself, can be considered in several discourses. One of them is the postmodernist discourse.
Multiculturalism as the world outlook position assumes tolerance, tolerance of the cultural difference that is also expression of the especial. (Mamonova).
Multiculturalism is brought up to date with globalization strengthening.
The ideological and political contexts of multiculturalism include both positive and the negative relation to multiculturalism as a phenomenon.
The negative attitude to multiculturalism is connected with its former understanding as the melting pot consisting of an ethnocultural basis as a dominant and the various immigrant groups. Since the middle of the 60-es of the ХХ century the politics of “a melting pot” has given way to ideology of multiculturalism. «… Representatives of the ethnic groups do not look as others if only they correspond to the general mood and values of the country» (Мамонова), that is, on the basis of certain basic social ground the ethnocultural differences are cemented, without being beyond a context (the given vision on an example of the American society can be observed in Naisbitt’s work "Megatrends") (Mamonova).
The above-mentioned relation also was expressed in characterizing a multiculturalist as not obvious racist when «the multiculturalist’s respect for peculiarity of Another is the very form of the assertion of own superiority» (Jijek, 2005: 110).
The component of the postmodern program is seen in the multiculturalism project, assuming the creation of a global community with a set of cultures which have the right to existence and should cause respect. Original interpretation of the given view has laid down the basis of singularities’ theory, the concept which has become the basis of multiculturalism (Posadskiy).
One of the most widespread statements is that multiculturalism displays a cultural situation of postmodern. First of all, the argumentation is refusal to reduce to a common denominator, so characteristic for modern, and also that multiculture as a culture model assumes, first of all, the removal of the centric development vector, dehierarchization and legitimation of cultural difference’s forms. As a whole, it is possible to say that multiculturalism is conformable to value guidelines of postmodern (Mamonova).
The culture of postmodern in which plurality is legitimized as the substantive origin, assumes the absence of borderlines between the subject and object that leads to the infinite determinations. (Mamonova).
The cultural pluralism of postmodern is expressed in rhizomatic nature, making a basis of multiculturalism as a link of the philosophical program. (Rzayeva, 2012: 554, 556).
The postmodernist form of multiculturalism discourse expresses the rhetoric difference which has taken the place of the rhetoric Identity (aMalachov). The primary value of the first one was noted by Derrida and Deleuze.
Apologists of differences testify to the divided past when the most part of the population of globe was slighted and oppressed by the minority consisting of the individuals - white, men, North-Atlantes, well-educated and economically strong ones. This mode actuates the program of grandiose colonization, a political exception and unlimited pressure. The world of differences of postmodern opens possibilities for exercising their votes by the oppressed ones in the struggle against the tested injustice. (Grant, 2006: 21).
The directive at domination of mainstream culture is removed by postmodernist premise of acceptance of ambivalence as a natural state of affairs and existence of distinctions as natural reality, that is, tolerance of the approach (Kravchenko, 2007: 648).
The constant accentuation of the fact of difference in postmodern (Sim, 2006: 6) excludes «the use of one classification net for forms of culture and reducing them to a common denominator» (Mamonova).
They connect this with rhizomatic nature of postmodern culture representing «both set and unity of the organized determinacy in which plurality is similar to the substantive origin» (Mamonova), and multiculturalism is a world outlook position with its «aim at social tolerance in a pluralistic society».
The context of multiculturalism transforms “the alien” into simply “another” (Nizamova), assumes respect for mental bounds of social inhabitancy of each cultural unit (Posadskiy).
One of the basic postulates of postmodernist paradigm is legitimation. The presumption of the basic plurality of the world picture, expressed in legitimation when the collage, understood in extremely wide range of values of this term, becomes a symbol of postmodern culture (Mojeyko, 2001: 416), characterizes pluralism of postmodernism -«Anything goes» (Grant, 2006: 17).
The consonance of multiculturalism to the postmodern’s philosophical foundations is expressed in the subject (divide) put in the forefront, for which the problems of identity, a choice of value preferences become decisive. Postmodern epoch expands content of multiculturalism by reducing it to «not only to an ethnic variety, but also a variety of vital styles, orientations and cultural tendencies» (Mamonova).
Multiculturalism and identity can be considered in a context of a correlation of the global and the local. So identity can express as natural self-identity, while multiculturalism is a variety. At the same time both can express «a policy of maintenance of these origins». (Fedotova V.G., Kolpakova V.A. and N.N.Fedotova, 2008: 409).
The conflict of multiculturalism and identity is a conflict of categories - the global and the local, more precisely, people conceiving by these categories - globally and locally. (Fedotova V.G., Kolpakova V.A. and N.N.Fedotova, 2008: 409).
This view assumes the presence of mental bounds of a society in which frameworks interaction of social forms different from one another, but connected with the value bases of a society is carried out (Posadskiy).
Hence, connecting multiculturalism with postmodern corresponds to pluralistic vision of postmodern which as a whole characterizes its mentality and, it is possible to say, it is conformable to its value aims.
In modern polycultural space multiculturalism is especially brought up to date.
Among a number of multiculturalism concepts, - when it is used for the characteristic of a modern cultural situation in the world as a whole, the multicultural social constructions within individual societies, a policy etc. -there is one more measurement - multiculturalism as a set of modernities in the non-Western world - and as one of signs of postmodernity, always present, however under the influence of the last brought up to date at present.
The uniqueness of the present multicultural situation is seen in that it represents a situation of talking in which the new perspectives of world view, relation to the world, its comprehension are formed. (Mamonova).
All this brings up to date «… anti-essentialist and poststructuralist programs of researching the culture accenting plurality and ambivalence of social positioning of the individual in the postindustrial world». (Solovyeva, 2011: 6).
At the same time the problematical character caused by presence of set of cultures in one society, each of which represents symbolical system, codified in institutes of this society (bMalachov), can cause a condition of crisis of a cultural situation.
In the given condition there may be a multicultural person, combining in himself various "fluid" postcultural identities and characterised by the following properties: syncretism, value relativism, hybridism, crossbreeding, ambivalence. (Posadskiy).
Multiculturalism is closely connected with investigation of paradigmal bases of conceptualisation of the Stranger. Dialogue as a special type of interaction includes a figure of "Stranger".
Postmodern removes differentiation of the title culture and the alternative cultures.
The absence of "dominating culture" (and when the concept "culture" is not attached to concept "ethnos") is put forward as characteristic feature of a cultural pluralistic ("multicultural") society. The freedom in choosing of "own" cultural samples (bMalachov) has something in common with pluralism of postmodern.
In the given context the matter is not only the categories “ethnicity”, “subculture", “formed in the theoretical traditions of social constructivism and poststructuralism” on which polarization of “I (we, own) / Another” is based (Solovyeva, 2011: 6), i.e. the term “Another” in the modern multicultural world has lost substantially connotation to a category “ethnicity”.
«A cultural variety is not only and not so much ethnic variety» (bMalachov), in particular, in the postmodernist narratology the ethnocultural discourse extends on account of inclusion of the right to the alternative vital worlds and the binary opposition «Own - Another's» grows with the new senses.
The today's multiculturalist condition means dialogue, and multiculturalism is regarded as a new philosophy of interaction (Pokrovskaya).
The ideas «dialogism» from Martin Buber to Mikhail Bakhtin, conception «difference» of Emmanuel Lévinas created on a basis of “dialogue philosophy”» can be premises of the given vision.
In a new cultural context the polyphony of ethnic, national cultures, subcultures owing to the various nature of an origin, various ways of functioning, and the various organization is legitimatized. The policy of cultural pluralism is seen in encouragement of “dialogue” between ethno linguistic and ethno confessional groups, and also in formation of the general communication space, which is inherently super-ethnic (Mamonova).
Herein the “understanding of other cultural position and, probably, opposition as «a real, uncompleted problem, as «another's truth» and, hence, exactly the same perception of own, blood truth as opened, suspended one» is bring into the forefront (Mamonova).
Achievement of communicative culture of a pluralistic society is seen in overcoming of bounds own normative nature by means of dialogue, forming of the value consensuses. (Posadskiy).
Nontrivial sense of the concept («multiculturalism») is caused by its multilevel character, an urgency and the discursive analysis.
Multiculturalism as a set of moderns is complicated by combination (coexistence) of two paradigms of culture -traditional and modernist, analytically contrasted according to a number of the key ontological, anthropological and gnoseological parameters (Morina, 2011: 16).
Postmodernist discourse, expanding the sense load of concept, brings up to date it (multiculturalism) more than ever, doing accentuation on necessity of dialogue, accordingly, on a communicative component, and on multiculturalism as a form/ (and-or a necessary condition) of coexistence in the modern polycultural world.
Fedotova, V.G., Kolpakov, V.A. & Fedotova, N.N. (2008). Globalniy kapitalizm: tri velikiye transformatsii. M.: Kulturnaya revolutsiya. Grant I.H. (2006). "Postmodernizm ve Politika" // In S.Sim (Eds), Postmodern Düşüncenin Eleştirel Sözlüğü, (Trans. Mukadder Erkan & Ali
Utku, (1st ed.), (pp.17-30). Ankara: ebabil Yayıncılık.
Jijek, S. (2005). Interpassivnost. Jelaniye: vlecheniye. Multikulturalizm. SPb.
Kravchenko, S.A. Sotsiologiya: paradigmi cherez prizmu sotsiologiceskogo voobrajeniya, (1st. ed.). Moskva: Izdatelstvo "Ekzamen", 2007. aMalachov, V.S. Kulturniy pluralizm versus multikulturalizm Nezavisimaya gazeta (NGN-Schenarii), 14.06.97. In Skromnoye obayaniye rasizma. IGPI .RU - http://www.igpi.ru/info/people/friends/malakhov/articles/1132597922.html
Mamonova, V.A. Multikulturalizm: raznoobraziye i mnojestvo. CREDO NEW teoreticheskiy jurnal - http://credonew.ru/content/view/606/32/, (16.05.2009)
Mejdischiplinarnost v naukach i filosofii. Kasavin, I.T. (Eds.). M.: IFRAN, 2010.
Mojeyko, V.A. (2001). Lego. In Postmodernizm. Ensiklopediya. Mn.: Interpresservis; Knijniy dom. 2001.
Morina, L. (2011). Konseptualizatsiya chujogo v aspekte problemi multukulturalizma. Mejdunarodniy jurnal issledovaniy kulturi International Journal of Cultural Research www.culturalresearch.ru, № 1 (2), 15-19, http://www.culturalresearch.ru/files/open_issues/01_2011/IJCR_01(2)_2011_Morina.pdf
Nizamova, L.P. Multikulturalizm. Ekonomika Sotsiologiya Menedjment - http://www.ecsocman.edu.ru/db/msg/127521.html, (3.07.2009) Pokrovskaya, N. Globalizatsiya i kulturniy pluralizm -
Posadskiy, А. Pluralisticheskoye obshestvo v uslviyah neokonservativnoy volni - http://pda.cskp.ru/clauses/5/c/3627/, (17-09-2008). Rzayeva, R.O. (2012). K voprosu o dialogichnosti postmoderna. In «Dialog kultur v usloviyah globalizatsii» Materiali Bakinskogo foruma, posvyashennogo pamyati Geydara Aliyeva. М.: «Kanon+» ROOI «Reabiliatatsiya», pp. 554-559;
Sim, S. (2006). Postmodernizm ve Felsefe. Postmodern Düşüncenin Eleştirel Sözlüğü, (1st. ed.). Ankara: ebabil Yayıncılık, 3-15;
Solovyeva, А. (2011). «Etnicheskaya subkultura»: konseptualiztsiya etnichnost v kotekste kulturnih razlichiy. Mejdunarodniy jurnal issledovaniy kulturi International Journal of Cultural Research www.culturalresearch.ru, 1(2), 6-14, http://www.culturalresearch.ru/files/open_issues/01_2011/IJCR_01(2)_2011_Solovieva.pd