Genuine Multiculturalism: The Tragedy and Comedy of Diversity
While many modern societies are noted for their diversity, the resulting challenge is to determine how citizens from different backgrounds and cultures can see themselves and each other as equals, and be treated equally. In Genuine Multiculturalism, Cecil Foster shows that a society's failure to bridge these differences is the tragedy of modern living and that pretending it is possible to mechanically develop fraternity and solidarity among diverse groups is akin to seeking out comedy. Arguing that genuine multiculturalism is the search for social justice by individuals who have been trapped by ascribed identities or newcomers who have been shut out of perceived ethnic homelands, Foster details how this process, in essence, is the story of the Americas. Reconceptionalizing the terms of multiculturalism, he offers an intervention into Canada's claim that its definition and practice are based on recognizing equality of citizenship. Identifying genuine multiculturalism as an ongoing work in progress, rather than a tightly defined policy position, Foster challenges readers to imagine a greater and more harmonious ideal. A necessary theoretical reconsideration of diversity within society, Genuine Multiculturalism refocuses the debate about ideals and practices in modern societies.
Cecil Foster is a Canadian novelist, scholar and journalist. Foster is a professor in the Africana and American Studies department (formerly known as Transnational Studies) University at Buffalo. He has published extensively on Canadian “multiculturalism,” and his works explore the historical and contemporary experiences of Black Canadians.