Alexander Set Radical Multiculturalism Holds That Cultural Book Report

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Alexander Set

Radical multiculturalism holds that cultural groups should be the measure for considerations of justice as a group offers the individual the indispensable good of being rooted in a community. The problem is that groups always set-up unequal in-group out-group relations that are detrimental to society.

The problem is that conservatives claim it undermines cohesiveness, but cohesiveness is exactly what all social movements in the last hundred years have attempted to bring about.

In this context this means that the gains of one group are not balanced by losses of another group.

The civil sphere includes structures of feelings, symbols, psychological identifications, and sympathies determine how resources are allocated in society. The public sphere is more of how this publically stated (the two can be different).

Common identity is malleable depending on the times. The move for woman's voting rights and equal rights into the national identity is an example.

Incorporation is acceptance of others with their differences intact and including these differences in the broader identity; assimilation involves others taking on the values of dominant groups in order to be accepted.

7. In-groups are simply defined as those sharing a characteristic or set of characteristics upon which a group identity is formed, out-groups are those not in the in-group.

8. Alexander is addressing America and is advocating for a we-ness (solidarity) of people without sacrificing the integrity of differences.

1. Alexander claims that cultural power or the civil sphere has no counterpart in society. This is because all other spheres such as the family, the state, one's religion, and the economy are fueled by non-civil, non-democratic, and/or individual values. The civil sphere therefore provides a proper milieu for both an individual and collective identity of people.

2-3. Alexander seems to underemphasize the role that political, economic, and social power in democracies. He acknowledges their importance, but does not give them their just due in order to ascertain the importance of civil (cultural power). Thus, there does not appear to be a consideration of interactions across social spheres, but instead Alexander minimizes instrumental power welded by politics and economics and focuses on the softer power of civil society. Certainly there are interactions between Alexander's civil sphere and the public sphere and how these relate to each other; in fact Alexander's civil sphere may not actually exist without interactions with the public sphere. After reading this piece and thinking about the content it appears that the civil sphere is dependent on the public sphere and probably cannot exist independently from it.

Habermas set 1

1. The bourgeois public sphere consists of people who have come together as a public by engaging in a debate over the general rules in a privatized and yet public realm of the exchange of commodities and social labor. The means for this confrontation was the public use of reason. A parliamentary system did not work in a commercial economy as private property control became apolitical. Meetings between citizens and aristocrats, bourgeois, and intellectuals on an equal basis occurred in public places.

2. Private citizens became the head of a family and the owner of commodities. The subjectivity of the conjugal family created its own public before becoming political.

3. The conjugal family, private property ownership, and the literary public sphere that allow for the transition to political debate (via the press and public opinion).

4. Private individuals appropriated the state-governed public sphere using reason via the change of the literary public sphere. The public sphere started to critically debate political issues (and other things such as art) as opposed to merely discussing political outcomes.

5. The bourgeois public sphere developed as a society separated from the state but came under control of groups that were not concerned with society as a private sphere.

6. The separation of state and society.

7. The origins of the public sphere and the ownership of property created a class basis and unfair distribution power. Communism or State control would reverse this.

8. Yes it is, the idea of communism or socialism developing as a result of a bourgeois public sphere is counterintuitive.

1-3. The bourgeois public sphere was the sphere of private people who came together as a public sphere. Habermas explains the growth and decline of the bourgeois public sphere. Feudal societies were transformed into bourgeois public spheres due to the emphasis on reason and private ownership of property. Reason and the new role of the conjugal family head as…[continue]

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