Toward a New Lexicon and a Conceptual Grammar to Understand the "Multicultural Issue"

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This essay addresses the theoretical horizon of the “multicultural issue” starting from two perspectives closely related to each other: sociological and philosophical-legal. From the sociological standpoint, this question concerns the identitarian issue. Contemporary identitarian claims are to be understood within a cultural background characterized by peculiar phenomena, such as dynamics of de-institutionalization, the transition from “identity” to “membership” and processes of re-symbolization. From this starting point, the author derives the complexity of the categories “pluralism” and “interculturalism” and develops a conceptual framework which includes the re-signification of the notions of “culture” and “collective rights”. On the philosophical-legal level, it is necessary to reconsider some institutions belonging to the western legal tradition, especially the concept of “subjective rights”, the role of the State and, more widely, the political models based on democratic systems. Focusing on the pair ‘identity (identitarian sphere) - subject (subjective dimension)’, the “multicultural issue”, from a philosophical point of view, should be interpreted as a "question of sense", placed between its universal dimension and the multiple historical solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIdentity and Migration in Europe: Multidisciplinary Perspectives
EditorsMariaCaterina La Barbera
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Multiculturalism Philosophy Law Anthropology
  • Multiculturalismo Filosofia Diritto Antropologia

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