Original Articles

Creating mutual identification and solidarity in highly diversified societies. The importance of identification by shared participation

Published in: South African Journal of Philosophy
Volume 31, issue 3, 2012 , pages: 560–575
DOI: 10.1080/02580136.2012.10751793
Author(s): Patrick LoobuyckUniversity of Antwerp, Centre Pieter Gillis, Belgium

Abstract

Like the liberal nationalists, we insist that a sense of belonging together is necessary for the practice of an egalitarian democracy. Therefore, we can take a shared national identity as one of the building blocks of the welfare state. However, we argue that a shared cultural or civic national identity can not be a necessary condition for this sense of belonging together. The mere fact of co-operation and common participation in shared activities and projects can create a sense of belonging together, regardless of whether the participants do share a national identity. Governments of diversified societies can try to establish a shared national culture, but equally important is their task to create a sense of belonging together by virtue of co-operation and shared participation. It is particularly important that people can meet each other, and therefore efforts by the government to establish social mix and a common language may be legitimate policies.

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