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date: 25 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Multiculturalism is first discussed as the basic presence of cultural diversity in a society. It is then presented as an orientation (in public policy) toward this diversity. It is distinguished from pluralism (where there is only diversity) by noting that multiculturalism policy and practice has two core features: in addition to the presence of cultural diversity, multiculturalism also requires intercultural contact and equitable participation of all cultural elements in the life of the larger society (sometimes referred to as interculturalism). The concept of intercultural strategies is presented as a guide to understanding variations in public policy and public attitudes toward multiculturalism. Selected psychological studies of multiculturalism are then reviewed, including those on multicultural attitudes, and as well as studies examining three hypotheses derived from multiculturalism policies. Conclusions are then advanced, including the challenges and impediments in achieving full multiculturalism, and a discussion of the psychological benefits (and costs) of accepting multiculturalism, both by the society and by cultural groups and individual members.

Keywords: acculturation, contact, diversity, equity, interculturalism, intercultural strategies, multiculturalism, multicultural policy, participation

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