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Cultural pluralism

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Main articles: Pluralism and Multiculturalism

Cultural pluralism exists when all groups within a larger society maintain their unique cultural identities. In a pluralist culture, unique groups not only coexist side by side, but also consider qualities of other groups as traits worth having in the dominant culture. For example, a community center in the United States may offer classes in Indian yoga, Chinese calligraphy, and Latin salsa dancing. That city may also house a synagogue, mosque, and Buddhist temple, as well as several churches of various Christian denominations.

The existence of such institutions and practices is possible because the cultural communities responsible for them are protected by law and accepted by the larger society in a pluralist culture. Cultural pluralism is a necessary consequence of a flourishing and peaceful democratic society, because of its tolerance and respect for cultural and ethnic diversity.

The term cultural pluralism was coined by the American philosopher Horace Kallen. Another thinker who helped shape this notion include Randolph Bourne.

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