Accepted paper:

Toward the "eternal peace" of cultural differences: a pragmatic distinction between multiculturalism and cultural relativism

Authors:

Gheorghita Geana (Academia Romana)

Paper short abstract:

A key towards the "eternal peace" (in Kantian words) within the world of values might be the adequate understanding of the distinction between multiculturalism (as a diffuse ideology of a cultural conglomerate) and cultural relativism (as a viable working principle of a coherent social system).

Paper long abstract:

By facilitating migration, the process of globalisation (or Europeanisation - when referring to our continent) encourages the proliferation of the cases of impact between the migrants' native values and the local matricial ones. For centuries, and even millennia, such cases were settled by the rule: "When in Rome behave like the Romans" (in orig. Latin: Si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more). This rule contributed - discretely, but efficiently - to the stability of human societies. In our days, however, the international mobility of human individuals entails a great challenge (often manifested as crisis) to this traditional manner. The challenge is strongly supported by the intimacy's protective ethics of human rights, which has reached in the foreground of the transnational social life. While multiculturality is not by itself a utopian state of paradise, it might come close to such a state of things if - behind the official general formulations - the human wisdom could find concrete solutions of adjusting cultural differences between the native (intimate) and the local (matricial) values and, thus, of avoiding the conflicting potential between them. Conceptually speaking, a key towards this "eternal peace" (in Kantian words) might be the adequate understanding of the distinction between multiculturalism (as a diffuse ideology of a cultural conglomerate) and cultural relativism (as a viable working principle of a coherent social system).

panel P063
Anthropological utopias: debating personal, political and idealist expectations in the intersection of theory and ethnographic practice