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Sociology: People


Mario Alvarado

Mario Alvarado
Mario Alvarado
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
+44 (0)752 654 5549
Research Interests
Multiculturalism, Political philosophy, Social theory, Critical theory, Interculturalism, Identity, Recognition, Political Plurality, Liberalism, Social cohesion

Through the analysis of liberal theories of plurality and diversity –multiculturalism, interculturalism, nationalisms, cosmopolitanism, communitarianism-, I make a series of arguments regarding the positive recognition of difference. I acknowledge the merits and benefits of these theories in providing political recognition to minority groups. However, I introduce the notions of strong identity and recognition that could open the door for solutions to some puzzles left unsolved by the theories that promote political recognition, including claims of essentialism, issues on the categorisation of minorities and majorities, problems related to social cohesion, integration and liberalisation of minorities, and of course issues on recognition of cultural value and identity.

Constant with the analysis. I portray the concept of identity from an ontological perspective. I argue that identity mainly refers to what we are. In the strict sense, it is not a property or something we can instrumentally use to deal with the issues of everyday life. Identity also can be understood as membership, belonging, something socially constructed, and the social glue in modern societies while nevertheless being more than that. We do not have multiple identities, but a complex unified identity that includes everything that we are. To develop this part of the argument, I draw on Charles Taylor’s theory of the modern self. Finally, I suggest that strong recognition is pre-dialogical, and does not lead to the direct integration of minorities into the main culture. Further, it fosters internal social change, supports a stronger idea of collective autonomy, and is not mediated by institutions.

These notions of strong identity and recognition allow us to move beyond some limitations of the liberal theories, while at the same time valuing the benefits of political recognition. I argue that strong recognition does not contravene political recognition but, in fact, enables it.


Dr Stephen Kemp

Dr Mary Holmes


  • 2020    PhD Socio-Cultural Studies, University of Edinburgh (Viva en February)
  • 2014    MA Philosophy (Hons), National Autonomous University of Mexico.
  • 2011    BA Philosophy,  National Autonomous University of Mexico.


  • 2015 -2019                PhD Conference and Field Work Fund, University of Edinburgh
  • 2015 -2019    Abroad Postgraduate Studies, The Mexican National Council for Science and Techonology. 
  • 2012                 Visiting Research Scholarship for the University of Barcelona, The Mexican National Council for Science and Technology.  
  • 2011-2013     National Program of High Quality Postgraduate Studies, The Mexican National Council for Science and Technology.

Book Reviews

Conference Proceedings

Conference Activity/Participation 

  • 2019   “Social Recognition and Collective Identity: What We Are and What We Do” at Eighth Symposium of European Postgraduate Students CONACYT,  European Parliament, Strasbourg, April 4th
  • 2018   “The Crisis of Science and its Principles in Eduardo Nicol’s Philosophy” at XIII International Ontology Congress, San Sebastian, October 3rd.
  • 2018   “The limits of multiculturalism” at New Directions Conference, University of Edinburgh, April 20th.
  • 2018   Panel Discussion: “Transnational Family Practices” at New Directions Conference, University of Edinburgh, April 19th.
  • 2018    "Some Ideas on the Concept of Identity" at The Seventh Symposium of European Postgraduate Students CONACYT, European Parliament, Strasbourg, April 11-13.  
  • 2017    "Critique as a research of the limits; the case of Multicultural Theory" at ‘What’ and ‘How’ of Critique: Styles, Issues and Confrontations in Critical Social Theory and Research, Durham University, September 20th.
  • 2017    “Multiculturalism and Identity” at the Conference Utopia and Dystopia: Government, Citizens and State, University of Aberdeen, March 15th
  • 2017     “Comments on Jatinder Mann’s The Search for a New National Identity: The Rise of Multiculturalism in Canada and Australia, 1890s–1970s, University of Edinburgh, January 19th. 
  • 2016   “Multiculturalism and Identity: towards a non-essentialist approach” at New Directions Conference, University of Edinburgh, March 21st.
  • 2015     “Multiculturalism, identity and otherness; an approach from Nicol’s philosophy to the problem of substantialism of modern communities” at the 4th Catalan Congress of Philosophy, Societat Catalana de Filosofia, Barcelona, November 25-28.
  • 2013     “Is there any positive philosophy’s contribution to modern society?” at The International Congress on The social Impact of Philosophy,  Ibero-American University,  Mexico City, August 21-23.   
  • 2012    “Education and the modern world” at The Congress on Philosophy and Education in Mexico,  Hidalgo’s Arts and Humanities Association, Hidalgo, Mexico, March 12-16.

Teaching Experience

  • 2017- 2019        Social Theory, University of Edinburgh (Tutor)
  • 2014-                  Ethics and Communication, Technological Latin American University
  • 2013 -2015        Oral and Written Expression; an Introduction to Communication Science, Technological University of Mexico.
  • 2013 -2015        Science,Technology and Humanism, Technological University of Mexico.

Tutoring Experience

  • 2017-2019        Social Theory

Research Groups

  • 2016       Citizens, Nations and Migration (CNaM) Research Network, University of Edinburgh. 
  • 2012       Grup de Recerca Hermenèutica, Platonisme i Modernitat (Research Group: Hermeneutics, Platonism and Modernity),  Departament de Filosofia Teorètica i Pràctica, Facultat de Filosofia, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain.