Beyond Assimilation and Multiculturalism: A Critical Review of the Debate on Managing Diversity

  • Dan Rodríguez-GarcíaEmail author


In the past few years, both assimilationist and multiculturalist approaches to the management of immigration and diversity have been called into question. This article is an attempt to critically review and examine the key points of the debate regarding assimilationism and multiculturalism, while arguing for an interculturalist model of socio-cultural incorporation that reconciles cultural diversity with social cohesion. This paper looks at both European and North American cases and contends that when support for diversity occurs within a framework of social justice and political equality, and when all members of society are permitted to fully participate in the public space, the result is a more cohesive, albeit plural, civic community.


Immigration Diversity Multiculturalism Interculturalism Accommodation Social Cohesion 


Depuis quelques années, tant les approches assimilationistes que multiculturalistes en matière de gestion de l’immigration et la diversité ont été remises en question. Dans cet article, on présente un compte-rendu critique et examine les éléments clés du débat portant sur l’assimilationisme et le multiculturalisme, tout en proposant un modèle interculturaliste d’intégration qui concilie la diversité culturelle et la cohésion sociale. Cet article étudie des cas européens et nord américains et affirme que lorsque l’appui à la diversité se fait dans un cadre de justice sociale et d’égalité politique où tous les membres de la société peuvent participer pleinement dans l’espace public, le résultat est une communauté civique plus cohésive, quoique multiculturelle.

Mots clés

immigration diversité multiculturalisme interculturalisme accommodement cohésion sociale 



I would like to thank Joanna Freedman for her excellent editorial assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social and Cultural AnthropologyAutonomous University of BarcelonaBellaterraSpain

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