What are the effects and purpose of multicultural literature?

Expert Answers
cathibee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From an individual viewpoint, literature and its creation exists for the artist to make sense of his world. This is a very personal function that primarily affects the individual. It is impossible, however, as an individual, to avoid the influence of culture, personal, or collective history. Whatever individual attributes may influence the creation of literature is supplemented by the collective influence of culture as well. 

In this light, "multicultural literature" is concerned with showcasing culture. An author, belonging to a particular culture, uses his or her art to display the intricacies of his or her culture to the world. An associated purpose may therefore be to promote a better understanding and a deeper appreciation of the culture of focus in such literature. 

On the other hand, the specific effect of a specific piece of literature focusing on a specific culture may be debatable. A reader may, for example, be moved to change some previously held prejudice against the culture he or she is reading about. On the other hand, such influence is not necessarily the case. On the other hand, a reader who would voluntarily read a piece of literature featuring a culture other than his or her own is unlikely to remain unmoved. 

In conclusion then, one might say that the main purpose of multicultural literature is to display information about a certain way or ways of life. A secondary aim of such literature could be to move a reader at least to better and more informed insight about the culture in question.