In this long-awaited translation, Michel de Certeau anticipates current debates surrounding multiculturalism and social diversity, providing a prescient critique of identity politics.
De Certeau considers the idea of culture itself, unveiling the specific political and social conflicts culture is designed to conceal. He looks at culture from several points of view, positioning his ideal of culture in the plural in opposition to an exclusivist notion of culture as "the best that has been thought and said".
De Certeau stresses that anyone attempting to understand contemporary societies in the West must grasp the already-existing diversity that outflanks elitist conceptions of the "national group". Whatever the perceived benefits older ideas of social unity offered, de Certeau argues compellingly that they have no pertinence in the practical situation of societies today. Resonating with today's "culture wars", Culture in the Plural sheds new light on the challenges facing societies in transition.