Enclosed by affiliation. A critical stocktaking of mainstream multiculturalism
This is a critique of the insinuation of homogeneity and coherence burdening not only classical notions of culture but also the everyday understanding of cultural identity. This kind of misunderstanding not only overlook the internal variety of cultures. They also promote and enhance, in the context of multiculturalist identity policies, the suppression of by the groups they belong to. The cultural community thus becomes an "enclosure of affiliation" that takes away freedom, or imprisons. This fundamental danger of multiculturalism can only be warded off by a constext-sensitive liberalism which, on the one hand, takes demands of cultural minorities seriously, but at the same time politically prohibits any codification of cultural identities. Bienfait introduces three approaches concerning multiculturalism (Charles Taylor, Michael Walzer, Will Kymlicka), discusses aporias of basic notions in this field, and deconstructs a "totality-oriented" notion of culture - beginning with Max Weber via a move to hybridity in Cultural and postcolonial studies, and finally discussing Bourdieu"s habitus, capital, and "cultural combat". The next chapter deals with multiculturalism between subversion and repression (as tactics of the weak, and as strategy of the powerful), and the book ends with the sketch of a "critical politics of recognition".