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6 - Multiculturalism with Adjectives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2020

Erin Aeran Chung
Affiliation:
The Johns Hopkins University
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Summary

Even as political elites in Europe and North America have increasingly raised doubts about its viability, East Asian democracies have converged in their embrace of the catchword, “multiculturalism,” among policymakers and the public alike to mark the advent of social diversity. This chapter examines the emergence of three distinct frameworks for immigrant incorporation in East Asia based on variants of multiculturalism: “multicultural coexistence” in Japan in which nationality is the basis for categorizing diversity; hierarchical multiculturalism in South Korea whereby visa categories have become the basis for noncitizen hierarchies; and contested multiculturalism in Taiwan notable for the exclusion of migrant workers and the Sinicization of migrant spouses. I argue that, despite their common terminology, the variants of multiculturalism developing in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan continue to reflect their respective civic legacies. This chapter also compares rates of naturalization and permanent residency acquisition among immigrants in the three countries and discusses the growing backlash to specific immigrant groups in each country.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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