Bras. Political Sci. Rev.. 23/Nov/2016;10(3):e0002.
The Public and Private Spheres, Sociopolitical Integration and the Demands of Difference: the Responses of Multiculturalism
The article seeks to discuss strengths and problems of the assumptions of difference and of the ideals of sociopolitical integration in multiculturalist perspectives. The analysis is divided into three parts. In the first I look to show that the incorporation of two themes central to communitarianism – its questioning of the procedural demarcation of the boundaries between private and public spaces, and its critique of the theory of the subject that sustains liberal theses – has been essential to how the public is conceptualized in multicultural approaches, although, as I shall show, the two theoretical lineages diverge in important aspects. In the second part, I analyze different conceptions of the public developed by multiculturalist authors, seeking to demonstrate that their perspectives present tensions, generally linked to an uncertain articulation between the premises of difference and the possibilities for social and political integration. Finally, though emphasizing the originality of their critique of fixed political conceptions of public and private, I argue that some important limiting factors exist in multiculturalist theories.