Parekh, Kymlicka

According to Parekh, Kymlicka places ethnic minorities in a position of disadvantage relative to national minorities, in terms of having a right to the existence of their own culture (Parekh, Rethinking
Multiculturalism, 103). According to Parekh, Kymlicka believes that, in leaving their homeland, immigrants have “abandoned” the right to their own culture. Is this a correct or incorrect reading of Kymlicka?
And, whether or not Parekh is being unfair in his assessment of Kymlicka, is it right to say that national minorities are in a better position to retain their culture in the society that they occupy than do ethnic minorities
? Answer, while:
a) keeping in mind what polyethnic rights are meant to secure for ethnic groups in terms of the way in which the dominant society they find themselves in as immigrants or their descendants.
b) making clear the distinction between national minorities and ethnic groups (for Kymlicka) and what their different rights are meant to achieve for either group.
2. Parekh criticizes against cultural homogeneity (Rethinking Multiculturalism, pg. 170). and for ‘cultural diversity”. The first is the idea that the culture of a society should be the same throughout, should resist
change, and should have -stable traditions’, and that its members should have the same beliefs about what is good and the same (this is discussed significantly on page 170). But, according to Parekh, advocates for
a culturally homogeneous society, would misunderstand a) the goods (what the benefits are) of cultural diversity, for individuals within cultures and for cultural groups as such b) the inevitability of cultural
diversity in human life. Point A is discussed heavily between pages 163-172 and the Point B about the inevitability of cultural diversity and cultural change for human life is discussed significantly on page 123-
Keeping these points in mind, attend to the following questions:
a) what are the weaknesses of cultural homogeneity and how do they contrast with the benefits of cultural diversity? do the benefits of cultural diversity outweigh the “benefits” of cultural homogeneities, such as
internal solidarity” and “loyalty” to the culture between members (discussed on page 170)? Can the virtues of a “culturally homogeneous” society be also had in a culturally diverse society?
b) is a culturally diverse society more compatible with the way human life is fundamentally culturally diverse and open to cultural change that is a culturally homogeneous one? If so, why?
3. Kymlicka defines himself as a liberal and the theory he defends in Multicultural Citizenship as a liberal theory arguing for group-differentiated rights and minority rights. Now, as we have also discussed, and as
Kymlicka himself says, his variety of liberalism is concerned with “freedom of choice” and personal autonomy (Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship, pg. 7). For Kymlicka, recognizing that national minorities and
ethnic minorities have group-differentiated rights must be compatible with the defense of individual freedoms. This is why Kymlicka will favor group-differentiated rights that seek or demand “external
protections,” or rights that aid minority groups in defending the existence of their culture from the impact of the external decisions” made in the wider society over rights which might seek “internal restrictions” or
the rights which seek to control the threat of internal dissent within cultural groups. Groups’ demands for “external protections” and -internal restrictions” are both meant to protect a culture from de-stabilizing
forces which might threaten its existence. Referring to Kymlicka’s arguments and examples, and taking into account the priority of freedom of choice and personal autonomy in his liberalism, explain:
a) what the demands “external protections” and “internal restrictions” are and what is the difference between these.
b) why might group-differentiated rights which demand “external protections”be compatible with Kymlicka’s liberalism while those which demand “internal restrictions” would not. (Relevant readings re internal
restrictions/external protections: Multicultural Citizenship, Ch. 3).



Sample Solution