Modes of Integration, Multiculturalism and National Identities

British Citizenship, Race, and Rights - Lecture 4

Lecturer: Prof Tariq Modood, University of Bristol

9 Feb 2021

Full integration requires some degree of subjective identification with the society or country as a whole. How to integrate difference so that difference ceases to be problematic? Four modes of integration are discussed in order to bring out the character of multiculturalism and its relation to liberty, equality and solidarity – the core components of national citizenship.

The key difference between multiculturalism and other modes of integration is the normative significance it gives to minority racial, ethnic and religious groups, not just individuals and organisations, within national citizenship.

The recent emphasis on cohesion and citizenship is a rebalancing of the political multiculturalism of the 1990s, which largely took the form of accommodation of groups while being ambivalent about national identity and taking cohesion at a local level for granted.

Dialogical remaking of the national identity from the bottom up as well as by the state has been taking place but is also being resisted by those who cluster around mono-nationalism and anti-national cosmopolitanism.


  • Modood, T. (2018). A Multicultural Nationalism. Brown J. World Aff., 25, 233.
  • Brahm Levey, G. (2019). The Bristol school of multiculturalism. Ethnicities, 19(1), 200-226.
  • Four inter-related Multiculturalist blogs in the context of the Black Lives Matter agitation in Britain in 2020:
  • Uberoi, V. Can Black lives really matter in the UK before addressing Britishness? Global Extremes, Open Democracy, 9 July, 2020
  • Meer, N. Britain had a chance to talk about race 20 years ago. Let's get it right this time, The Guardian, 12 July, 2020.
  • Sealy, T. Back to the future of multi-ethnic Britain, Global Extremes, Open Democracy, 21 July, 2020
  • Sealy, T. What can multiculturalism offer in the fight against racism in Britain?, Global Extremes, Open Democracy, 23 November, 2020
  • Minorities, Public Labels and Multiculturalism, Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield, 28 October 2020 (34 minutes recorded lecture).


Questions for Discussion

  1. Does it make sense to think of Multiculturalism in terms of liberty, equality and solidarity amongst national citizens?
  2. What is the difference between multiculturalism and other modes of integration?
  3. Is the main thrust of multiculturalism separationist or remaking the basis for national solidarity?