Dudek, Debra L., 2006, Dogboys and lost things; or anchoring a floating signifier: Race and critical multiculturalism, Ariel: A Review of International English Literature, 37(4), 1-20.
In her 2004 book on multiculturalism, Haunted Nations: The Colonial Dimensions of Multiculturalisms, Sneja Gunew persistently refers to the term multiculturalism as a floating signifier. While this notion of a floating signifier is helpful because it acknowledges different ways in which multiculturalism functions in specific contexts, it may be unhelpful when it floats so much as to lose any signification. While I identify myself as a postmodernist and, therefore, regularly resist universalist terminology, I find myself in a peculiar position of wanting to put limits on the term multiculturalism. If multiculturalism can mean anything, then why is it important to analyze children’s literature through the lens of multiculturalism, I wonder.