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CNR: Alamanacco della Scienza


N. 12 - 13 ott 2010
ISSN 2037-4801

International info   a cura di Cecilia Migali


Multiculturalism: a fact or a choice?

'There was a time when I thought multiculturalism was a good thing' is the title of the speech recently held by Luca Codignola-Bo at Milano University in occasion of the Nineteenth European seminar for graduate students in Canadian studies.

The director of Isem-Cnr and expert in Canadian history underlines that Canada is reputed to have first tackled and solved the issue of multi-ethnicity with a law dating back to 1988, imposing multiculturalism. He argues that, while the ethnic diversity of Western societies is a fact on which it is virtually impossible to intervene, multiculturalism is a political choice that operates on multi-ethnicity in order to avoid the conflict. According to Luca Codignola Bo, the case demonstrates how the Canadian multicultural policy adopted by the federal government in the years 1970 and 1980 has well had positive effects, but it has now become a showcase for 'political correctness'. It would be better to call back emphasis on universal values that promote individuals rather than the community which they belong to.

"Individuals", says Codignola-Bo, "who are, or should be, the final actors or recipients of any policy  and their rights and duties as persons, seem to be obfuscated by their belonging to a community, mostly of the ethnic sort, and to its 'collective will to exist' (Trudeau, 1971). That is, one is first Italian, Hindu, muslim, aboriginal, etc., and only then a person. The ethnic framework in which a man or a woman happened to be born or chose to belong seems to have become more important than the person himself or herself".

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Fonte: Luca Codignola Bo, Istituto di storia dell'Europa mediterranea, Genova, tel. + 39 010 246-5459, email luca.codignola@isem.cnr.it