Why does Latin American interculturalism oppose multiculturalism?
Dr Alexandra Avena Koenigsberger (Independent Researcher)
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In the recent years one of the strongest critiques against multiculturalism has come from the interculturalist perspective, which, in broad terms, it views multiculturalism as a theory that has not been able to offer solutions for the recognition and accommodation of cultural minorities in diverse societies. By blaming it for creating fragmentation and parallel societies, rather than social cohesion and intercultural dialogue, they suggest that we should abandon multiculturalism and adopt interculturalism as a theory for managing cultural diversity. In the literature, the debate has focused on two different versions of Interculturalism: the Quebecois and the European. Although they have many important differences, these versions share a rejection towards multiculturalism. There is, however, a third version of interculturalism which, although it also rejects multiculturalism, it does it for different reasons. This is the Latin American version of interculturalism. In this seminar, Alexandra will present the main features of Latin American Interculturalism as well as its main critiques against multiculturalism. While doing so she will analyse whether there is a real confrontation between both, and if there is a possibility of reconciling these theories.
Alexandra obtained her law degree in the National Autonomous University of México, and her PhD at the Universidad Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. In her PhD dissertation she analyzed whether multiculturalism is an adequate framework for achieving ethnocultural justice in the Latin American region, with a special focus on Mexico. She currently works as a Judicial Clerk at the Electoral Court in México, where she specializes in the political rights of women, indigenous peoples, and other minority groups.
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