Multiculturalism and Criticism of Multicultural Theories



Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 1

Typically offered in

Autumn semester

Course description

The goal of the course is to introduce students into the understaning of some of the major social changes (globalization, migration, restructuring of society, social movements, etc.) that have led to the development of multicultural societies, and processes that have laid the foundations of multicultural thinking. It also aims to present some aspects of the history of science that have resuleted in a change of paradigm in social sciences, and have made it possible to explore areas formerly not known of by means of qualitative research methodologies.

Results, Competences

  • The sudents get acquainted with the social processes shaping multicultural societies
  • Students learn the key concepts of the topic (differences, diversity, otherness, strangeness, identity construction, globalisation- locality, etc,) learn about the diverse multicultural approaches, and the critics of multiculturalism


  • The students became open to approach social processes from an interdisciplinary perspective


  • The students became able to recognize interdisciplinary correlations related to multiculturalism

Content of the course

  • Introduction. Diversity as a social and cultural construction. Democracy, equality, social justice. Multi- and interculturalism
  • Dreams clad in texts, music and movements. Changing discourses- multiculturalism – social change
  • Globalization: is it really a new phenomenon? Interpretations. The effects and risks of globalization. Globalization and traditions
  • Globalism-globality-globalization. Second modernity. Beyond the nation states. Regions and locality. Transnational spaces and characters- Multiculturalism
  • Social changes. Historical minorities and immigrants. Migration. Migration theories
  • Social changes, relocations. Social diversity in Hungary
  • Globalization, transnational and multicultural families
  • Multicultural society-multiculturalism? Multicultural and multiculturalist societies. A few national, regional and local examples in a social and cultural context
  • Multicultural theories: diverse approaches and their critiques
  • Multi-interculturalism in education and in other institutions

Presentation, discussion, groupwork

System of Evaluation and Grading
At the end of the course a written examination has to be taken. The test will be based on the lectures and the reference literature. The prerequisite for the exam is to hand in an essay that contains an analysis of a film or a literary text OR a presentation of a case study of a region or a country. The deadline for the essay is a week befor the exam, and it will have to be uploaded to the elearning site.

The grade is calculated the following way:

  • classroom activity: 10%
  • essay / case study : 40%
  • exam results: 50%


  • Portera, A. (2011): Intercultural and multicultural education. Epistemological and semantic aspects. In: Grant, C. A. ésPortera, A. (szerk.): Intercultural and multicultural education. enhancing global interconnectedness. New York és London: Routledge, 12-30.
  • Townsend, D.N. (2011): Changing the World: Rock ‘n’ Roll Culture and Ideology. Beginnings, Chapter 2 and Changing Times, Chapter 3.
  • Giddens, A. (1999) Runaway World: How Globalization is Reshaping Our Lives. Profile, London.
  • Ritzer, G. (2011): Global Culture and Cultural Flows. In: Globalization. The Essentials. Wiley-Blackwell. 153-177.
  • Beck, U. (2000): What is globalization? Wiley & Sons Part I, Chapter 1-2, 1-87.
  • Hannerz, U. (2006): Two Faces of Cosmopolitanism: Culture and Politics. CIDOB.
  • King, R. (2012): Theories and Typologies of Migration: An Overview and a Primer. Malmö University.
  • Ritzer, G. (2011): Global Flows of Migrants. In: Globalization. The Essentials. Wiley-Blackwell. 178-203.
  • Ogbu, J. U. and Simons, H. D. (1998): Voluntary and Involuntary Minorities: A Cultural-Ecological Theory of School-Performance with Some Implications for Education. Anthropology & Education Quarterly 29(2): 155-188. pdf
  • Karraker, W.M.( 2008): Global Families. Boston: Pearson. Education Inc.,135- 167.
  • Parekh, B. (2005): Unity and Diversity in Multicultural Societies. International Institute of Labour Studies.
  • May, S. (2009): Critical multiculturalism and education. In: Banks, J. A. The Routledge International Companion to Multicultural Education. Routledge, New York and London. 33-48.
  • McDonough, T. (2008): The course of culture in multicultural education. Educational Theory, 58. 3. 321-348.
  • Bleszynska , K. M. (2008): Constructing intercultural eductaion. Intercultural Education, 19/6. pp.537-545.