Multicultural

The term “multicultural” and its associated “-ism” have been the focus of many debates in literary, educational, political, and sociological circles since the terms were coined. “Multicultural” first appeared in the New York Herald Tribune in 1941: “A fervent sermon against nationalism, national prejudice and behavior in favor of a ‘multicultural’ way of life” (Oxford English Dictionary [OED]). The second usage, in 1959 by the New York Times, both narrows and broadens the definition by connecting a culturally diverse city to cosmopolitanism. In 1965, the adjective “multicultural” expanded into the noun “multiculturalism” in the Preliminary Report of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism: “The answer they often gave was ‘multiculturalism’ or, more elaborately, ‘the Canadian mosaic’” (OED). The first three usages of the term “multiculturalism” offered in the OED relate to North American society, but the fourth, from a 1973 edition of …

This essay may be found on page 155 of the printed volume.

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