Multiculturalism and National Identity in an Ethnically Diverse Society




Ketchum, Lauren

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This thesis examines the relationship between multiculturalism and national identity particularly through the lens of the moral and political arguments for and against ethnic diversity. As a preliminary assessment, this thesis will first outline relevant definitions of identity, diversity, and national identity. Then it will analyze the various arguments in favor of multiculturalism on both the moral and political grounds, followed by the ethical and political criticisms, respectively. By examining the various arguments for and against multicultural diversity, it becomes clear that the ethnocentric conception of identity that follows from multiculturalism challenges civic unity and national identity. It not only diminishes individual rights but incentivizes ethnic division, competition, and hostility in the public sphere. If diversity truly is a societal good, it must be adjusted to uphold universal values and civic virtue upon which national unity depends.



National Identity, Multiculturalism