Critical Multiculturalism and the Politics of Identity in Academic Writing

  • Setiono Sugiharto English Department, Faculty of Education, Atma Jaya Catholic University, Jakarta
Keywords: Critical multiculturalism, liberal multilingualism, English language education, Indonesian context, linguistic and cultural determinism, politics of identity.

Abstract

This article discusses the critiques of critical multiculturalism of the well-established notion of liberal multiculturalism. Drawing insights from a critical theory, critical multiculturalism attempts to challenge and deconstruct the basic constructs such as culture and knowledge from the perspective of liberal multiculturalism. From this line of inquiry, I proceed to argue that English language education in the Indonesian context still clings to the spirit of liberal multicultural orthodoxy, which is evident from the English pedagogy policy, teaching and research. I then suggest that by adopting a critical perspective of multiculturalism, and hence critical multiculturalism as a framework of thinking, we can help raise teachers‟ awareness to adopt critical teaching and research practices that not only value the multiplicity of students‟ cultures but also resist linguistic and cultural determinism prevalent especially in academic writing practice. To demonstrate the possibility of resistance against the hegemonic forces of linguistic and cultural determinism, I present case studies of multilingual student writers in their search of the politics of identity in academic writing.

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