Abstract

Treating multiculturalism as a social fact, this article develops the argument that it ought to be construed as a form of political claims-making advanced by spokespersons on behalf of what can be described as communities of fate. After brief examinations of the claims-makers and those groups that claims are made on behalf of, five types of claims are analyzed: (1) exemption, (2) accommodation, (3) preservation, (4) redress, and (5) inclusion. This leads to a concluding section devoted to analyzing the politics of identity as constituting an effort to ovecome the burdens of stigmatization, with a focus on the respective contributions of Goffman, Taylor, and Alexander.

Keywords: multiculturalism, political claim-making, community of fate, politics of identity, stigmatization