The Politics of Multiculturalism in Taiwan – June 2010

Friday 4th June at 6pm will see this topic being addressed by widely published Mau-kuei Chang, research fellow of the Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, and adjunct Professor of the Department of Sociology, Taiwan University.

On considering the question ‘Is Taiwan a multicultural country? Is multiculturalism an official position of the country?’ the answer must be ‘yes’. Not only do both the DPP and the KMT parties mention multiculturalism in revision articles of the Constitution (1996), but also it has become a “must learn” subject in the high school curriculum since 2006. How has this development come about? How do we make sense of this in Taiwan where politics are always about “unified” and one nation-ness? And, what does this term mean for the general public?

Chang will address this with a quick sketch of different political discourses on nationhood, on people, on difference and on civil rights since 1970’s and examine how these diverse discourses somehow suddenly converge on a very vague, little understood notion of multiculturalism, which in reality and through institutional arrangements affect the daily lives of the people.

Mau-kuei Chan received his PhD sociology degree from Purdue University and has visited U.C. Berkeley and McGill University as Fulbright and exchange scholar. His research and teaching interests include social movement studies, identity politics, and ethnicity and nationalism. He is widely published in both English and Chinese with his most recent being an edited volume titled “Nation and Identity, ideas of some Waishengren” (2010).

Date: Friday 4 June
Time: 6pm-7.30pm followed by a drinks reception

This event is free. To reserve a seat for this talk please email or call 0131 662 2180.