Cultural politics: Disciplining citizenship

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Demands for cultural citizenship within western democracies identify the shifting needs that arise from culturally diverse and multicultural societies. These demands are increasing while simultaneously, many western societies are re-evaluating their commitments to official policies and discourses of multiculturalism. In the Canadian context, where official multiculturalism has been celebrated since the 1970s, the challenge to the continuity of multiculturalism has been greatly affected by the discursive framing of the 'war on terror' since 11 September 2001. In this article I investigate how the cultural has been constituted as a disciplinary discourse that has relied upon an ontologically fixed determination of ethnic difference. I make this argument by investigating the public media, policy and legal discussions that erupted during the 'Sharia Law' debates that took place in the province of Ontario, Canada in 2003. I explore how the influence of Mahmood Mamdani's concept of 'culture talk' acts as a pervasive authorising discourse in these debates and the impact that this has on the conceptualisation of cultural citizenship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-343
Number of pages13
JournalCitizenship Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Cultural citizenship
  • Feminism
  • Gender
  • Identity and recognition
  • Islamophobia
  • Multiculturalism
  • Sharia law


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