This publication contains presentations from the workshop “Identity and Pluralism” held at Linköping University in Sweden in June 2008.
¨The first article by Reevany Bustami, Ellisha Nasruddin and Sarmila Md Sum offers a critique of the ‘diversity and inclusion’ discussions in the present CSR discourse. In doing so, it seeks to expand the parameters of diversity to include the broader community as well as the supply chain networks within which companies exist. It also examines the issues of diversity and pluralism within the context of multi religious and multi ethnic Malaysian society as well as the continuing debates of affirmative action originated from Malaysia’s New Economic Policy (NEP).
In their essay on pluralism in Malaysian higher education Ellisha Nasruddin, Reevany Bustami and Ng Sen Fa discuss: 1) key future trends/alternatives within higher education and their cross-impacts; 2) how these trends/alternatives may create undesirable or desirable impact on ethnic pluralism; and 3) roadmap(s) for transformation within higher education vis-a-vis ethnic pluralism.
What is the role of Christian churches in Malaysia? Göran Wiking discusses the isolationist characteristics inherent in some Malaysian churches and denominations. Secondly, a brief analysis of the phenomenon is attempted: is this a genuine or just a perceived impediment to national integration? Are there in fact indicators to the contrary, whereby a certain degree of ethnic isolation can serve to strengthen identity and foster more wholesome members of the society at large?
Göran Collste discusses one aspect of Malaysian political pluralism; the policy of affirmative action. Affirmative action is favouring Malays and to be Muslim is one of the requirements for being beneficiary of affirmative action. He points at some problems for the policy of affirmative action in a time with increased religious tensions and an increased emphasis on religious affiliation as identity marker.
What are the conditions for a real dialogue between members of different ethnic and religious groups? Peter Gan argues that openness to transformation by the other is not strictly speaking an ethic of reducing the other to the self. Rather, it is an orientation that is predicated upon a symmetric self-other relation. In exploring this form of openness, the author attempts to unravel the intricacies embedded within the dialogic process which permeates interethnic, particularly interreligious relations.
The concept “secular state” is nowadays often used in both everyday discourse and scholarly debate. Often it comes with normative connotations; that the democratic state should be secular. However, the exact meaning of the concept is not clear. In his essay Marcus Agnafors examines different meanings of the concept “secular state”. He also discusses some arguments commonly presented in support of the idea that the state should, in some sense, be secular.
Finally, Anne-Christine Hornborg’s essay deals with the struggle for identity by an Indian tribe in Canada. She discusses the impact of the so called residential school on contemporary Mi’kmaq life worlds and identities, drawing on interviews from fieldworks conducted in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2010. , 119 p.
Authors participating in this publication apart from the editor: Reevany Bustami, Ellisha Nasruddin, Sarmila Md Sum, Ng Sen Fa, Göran Wiking, Peter Gan, Marcus Agnafors and Anne-Christine Hornborg.