Cultural Postmodernity in Aotearoa/New Zealand: Biculturalism, multiculturalism and transculturalism

Michael A. Peters
Vol 21, Number 1, p.18
Postmodernity involves a philosophical reflection upon \"modernity\", its status as an historical era, its founding values and institutions, and its cultural achievements. Thus, taking inspiration from Nietzsche, in particular, postmodernity refers to the critique and \"failures\" of modernity- to awareness both of its limits and its legitimating grand narratives. Postmodernity can also act as a signifier for a kind of critical reflection on the notion of culture in all its modernist guises, especially as they define the complex cultural space of the nation in three related senses. First, as defining the cultural identity of the nation-state through the expressive arts (\"national culture\"); second, considered as a set of state policies aimed at reinventing the nation through its history (\"multiculturalism\", \"biculturalism\"); and, more recently, as a set of state policies harnessing culture and sport as future industries in the global knowledge economy. It is the second sense I want to focus on tonight. It figures in the subtitle for this lecture \"Biculturalism, Multiculturalism and Transculturalism\". I shall comment upon what Enrique Dussel (1998) calls the European paradigm of modernity, before examining the \"cultural turn\" and finally turning to the question implicit in the sub-ride.