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From tolerance to respect in inter ethnic contexts
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2012 (English)In: Journal of ethnic and migration studies, ISSN 1369-183X, E-ISSN 1469-9451, Vol. 38, no 7, 1049-1065 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When advocates of multiculturalism promote democratic values, they often call for tolerance and respect. The pairwise usage of these concepts wrongly presumes a similar, if not the same, positively connoted meaning. This article depicts an important difference between respect and tolerance, not only in terms of semantics but also regarding the concepts' impact on social interactions. Being tolerated often means to be 'put up with' or to be grudgingly ignored. Multicultural approaches that are based on tolerance, then, may send misleading signals, as they implicitly state that members of ethnic and racial minorities are actually not welcome. We argue that respect conveys a more suitable message for successful multicultural policy programmes. Drawing on a sociological theory of respect that connects respect with the agency of the target person, we show that respect means treating people as autonomous agents whose will and interests are taken seriously and who are not looked down on.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 38, no 7, 1049-1065 p.
Keyword [en]
Respect, Tolerance, Agency, Sociology, Multiculturalism
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-80121DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2012.681448ISI: 000305758500002OAI: diva2:553258


Available from: 2012-09-18 Created: 2012-09-12 Last updated: 2012-09-18Bibliographically approved

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