NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ915212
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1478-2103
The Coexistence of Cultures
Todorov, Tzvetan
Policy Futures in Education, v8 n3-4 p419-426 2010
Traditional links are being erased. When one lacks positive elements in order to build one's collective identity the temptation is strong to hook on to negative elements--I am not like these immigrants who are physically different from me, who speak another language, and who have strange customs. My identity lies in rejecting them. Thus, the apocalyptic vision of a homogeneous humanity is faced with a no-less-threatening vision--that of a planet inhabited by tribes at war with each other. While the benefits of the legalization of groups, in accordance with the communal or with the multicultural model, are problematic, its perverse effects are easy to foresee. Nationalism, or other forms of particularism, can serve towards fulfilling some generous goals, on a punctual scale, but it is dangerous in its principle. Universalism can be punctually misled and used to fulfill unacceptable goals; however, its principle remains liberating. It is for this reason that it has also been able to serve in order to eliminate its own perversions, such as in the ancient colonies' struggle for independence or in women's fight for equal rights. The author's conclusion is that, on a political level, the preference granted to collective belonging over individual freedom is poorly justified.
Symposium Journals. P.O. Box 204, Didcot, Oxford, OX11 9ZQ, UK. Tel: +44-1235-818-062; Fax: +44-1235-817-275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A