International Journal of Art & Design Education

Multi-culture and Art: Paradoxical and Unstable Concepts

Volume 5.1   1986



The problematical nature of ‘culture’ and thus, by extension, of ‘multi-culture’ is considered as a chief concern. These concepts clearly and profoundly relate to our notions of education and of art and, in this context, it is the author’s contention that a cautionary unpacking is both necessary and overdue. Firstly, the notion of culture is examined by drawing out three strands of meaning and through doing shows something of its complex character. Secondly, questions are addressed about the characteristics of stable or dynamic cultures with focus upon three agents of cultural change. Thirdly, it is maintained that art has and entailed relation to culture but it is a concept with chronic internal contradictions that are nevertheless important and fundamental to its make-up. Finally, and in the light of the foregoing there is discussion on the unstable and paradoxical nature of the concept of multi-culture.