Theorizing Multiculturalism and Diversity: The Implications of Intersectionality

  • Gill Valentine
Part of the Global Diversities book series (GLODIV)


This chapter takes as its starting point an observation that multiculturalism, especially as it has been understood in the UK, has focused primarily on conceptualizing relations between, and among, different social groups largely on the basis of “race” and ethnicity. While the emergence of debates about diversity has attempted to broaden the scope of societal differences — most notably in terms of migration studies — nonetheless this work has similarly tended to privilege ethno-cultural and ethno-religious axes of difference. Yet, while the twin forces of the global economy and global conflicts have accelerated patterns of migration in recent decades, creating unprecedented demographic change in European societies, other forms of rapid population change are evident too. The historical shift from industrial society to new modernity, in which individuals are assumed to be released from traditional constraints and to have more freedom to create their own individualized biographies, choosing between a range of lifestyles and social ties, has resulted in the more open public expression of a diverse range of social identities and ways of living (for example, different sexual orientations, religions and beliefs; (dis)abilities and so on). This chapter, therefore, focuses on diversifying ideas about diversity.


Negative Attitude Asylum Seeker Disable People Muslim Woman Head Teacher 
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© Gill Valentine 2015

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  • Gill Valentine

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