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definitions - Multiculturalism

multiculturalism (n.)

1.the doctrine that several different cultures (rather than one national culture) can coexist peacefully and equitably in a single country

Multiculturalism (n.)

1.(MeSH)Coexistence of numerous distinct ethnic, racial, religious, or cultural groups within one social unit, organization, or population. (From American Heritage Dictionary, 2d college ed., 1982, p955);The presence of multiple value systems within or among societies. (Bioethics Thesaurus)

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synonyms - Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism (n.) (MeSH)

Cultural Diversity  (MeSH), Cultural Pluralism  (MeSH), Pluralism  (MeSH)

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see also - Multiculturalism

multiculturalism (n.)

multicultural nationalism

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Wikipedia

Multiculturalism

                   
  Monument to Multiculturalism by Francesco Perilli in Toronto, Canada. Four identical sculptures are located in Buffalo City, South Africa; Changchun, China; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Sydney, Australia

Multiculturalism relates to communities containing multiple cultures. The term is used in two broad ways, either descriptively or normatively.[1] As a descriptive term, it usually refers to the simple fact of cultural diversity: it is generally applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, sometime at the organizational level, e.g. schools, businesses, neighbourhoods, cities, or nations. As a normative term, it refers to ideologies or policies that promote this diversity or its institutionalisation; in this sense, multiculturalism implies a "positive endorsement, even celebration, of communal diversity, typically based on either the right of different groups to respect and recognition, or to the alleged benefits to the larger society of moral and cultural diversity”.[2] Such ideologies or policies vary widely, including country to country,[3] ranging from the advocacy of equal respect to the various cultures in a society, to a policy of promoting the maintenance of cultural diversity, to policies in which people of various ethnic and religious groups are addressed by the authorities as defined by the group they belong to.[4][5] However, two main different and seemingly inconsistent strategies have developed through different Government policies and strategies:[6][7]The first focuses on interaction and communication between different cultures. Interactions of cultures provide opportunities for the cultural differences to communicate and interact to create multiculturalism. (Such approaches are also often known as interculturalism.) The second centers on diversity and cultural uniqueness. Cultural isolation can protect the uniqueness of the local culture of a nation or area and also contribute to global cultural diversity.[citation needed] A common aspect of many policies following the second approach is that they avoid presenting any specific ethnic, religious, or cultural community values as central.[8]

Multiculturalism is often contrasted with the concepts of assimilationism and has been described as a "salad bowl" or "cultural mosaic" rather than a "melting pot".[9]

Contents

  Multiculturalism in different national contexts

  Monument to Multiculturalism by Francesco Perilli in Sarajevo.

The term multiculturalism is most often used in reference to Western nation-states, which had seemingly achieved a de facto single national identity during the 18th and/or 19th centuries.[10] Multiculturalism has been official policy in several Western nations since the 1970s, for reasons that varied from country to country,[11][12][13] including the fact that many of the great cities of the Western world are increasingly made of a mosaic of cultures.[14]

The Canadian government has often been described as the instigator of multicultural ideology because of its public emphasis on the social importance of immigration.[15] The Canadian Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism is often refereed to as the origins of modern political awareness of multiculturalism.[16] In the Western English-speaking countries, multiculturalism as an official national policy started in Canada in 1971, followed by Australia, where it has since been displaced by assimilation, in 1973.[17] It was quickly adopted as official policy by most member-states of the European Union. Recently, right-of-center governments in several European states—notably the Netherlands and Denmark— have reversed the national policy and returned to an official monoculturalism.[17] A similar reversal is the subject of debate in the United Kingdom, among others, due to evidence of incipient segregation and anxieties over "home-grown" terrorism.[18] Several heads-of-state have expressed doubts about the success of multicultural policies: The United Kingdom's Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia's ex-prime minister John Howard, Spanish ex-president Jose Maria Aznar and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have voiced concerns about the effectiveness of their multicultural policies for integrating immigrants.[19][20]

Many nation-states in Africa, Asia, and the Americas are culturally diverse, and are 'multicultural' in a descriptive sense. In some, communalism is a major political issue. The policies adopted by these states often have parallels with multicultural-ist policies in the Western world, but the historical background is different, and the goal may be a mono-cultural or mono-ethnic nation-building - for instance in the Malaysian government's attempt to create a 'Malaysian race' by 2020.[21]

  Australia

Immigration poster
  Australian Government poster issued by the Overseas Settlement Office to attract immigrants (1928).

The next country to adopt an official policy of multiculturalism after Canada was Australia, a country with similar immigration situations and similar policies, for example the formation of the Special Broadcasting Service.[22] The White Australia Policy was quietly dismantled after World War II by various changes to immigration policy, the full political introduction of official policies of multiculturalism was not until 1972.[23] The election of John Howard's Liberal-National Coalition government in 1996 was a major watershed for Australian multiculturalism. Howard had long been a critic of multiculturalism, releasing his One Australia policy in the late 1980s.[24] A Practical Reference to Religious Diversity for Operational Police and Emergency Services was a publication of the Australasian Police Multicultural Advisory Bureau designed to offer guidance to police and emergency services personnel on how religious affiliation can affect their contact with the public. The first edition was published in 1999.[25][26][27] The first edition covered Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish and Sikh faiths with participation of representatives of the various religions.[28] The second edition added Christian, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander religions and the Bahá'í Faith to the list of religions was published in 2002.[29]

  Argentina

Though not called Multiculturalism as such, the preamble of Argentina's constitution explicitly promotes immigration, and recognizes the individual's multiple citizenship from other countries. Though 97% of Argentina's population self-identify as of European descent[30][31] to this day a high level of multiculturalism remains a feature of Argentina's culture,[32] allowing foreign festivals and holidays (e.g. Saint Patrick's Day), supporting all kinds of art or cultural expression from ethnic groups, as well as their diffusion through an important multicultural presence in the media; for instance it is not uncommon to find newspapers[33] or radio programs in English, German, Italian or French in Argentina.

  Canada

  Political cartoon on Canada's multicultural identity, from 1911

Canadian society is often depicted as being "very progressive, diverse, and multicultural".[34] Multiculturalism (a Just Society) was adopted as the official policy of the Canadian government during the premiership of Pierre Elliot Trudeau in the 1970s and 1980s.[35] Multiculturalism is reflected in the law through the Canadian Multiculturalism Act[36] and section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.[37] The Broadcasting Act of 1991 asserts the Canadian broadcasting system should reflect the diversity of cultures in the country.[38][39]

In a 2002 interview with the Globe and Mail, Karīm al-Hussainī the 49th Aga Khan of the Ismaili Muslims described Canada as "the most successful pluralist society on the face of our globe", citing it as "a model for the world".[40] He explained that the experience of Canadian governance - its commitment to pluralism and its support for the rich multicultural diversity of its peoples - is something that must be shared and would be of benefit to all societies in other parts of the world.[40]

  United States

In the United States, multiculturalism is not clearly established in policy at the federal level.

  Mulberry Street, along which Manhattan's Little Italy is centered. Lower East Side, New York City, United States, circa 1900.

Continuous mass immigration was a feature of the United States economy and society since the first half of the 19th century.[41] The absorption of the stream of immigrants became, in itself, a prominent feature of America's national myth. The idea of the Melting pot is a metaphor that implies that all the immigrant cultures are mixed and amalgamated without state intervention.[42] The Melting Pot implied that each individual immigrant, and each group of immigrants, assimilated into American society at their own pace which, as defined above, is not multiculturalism as this is opposed to assimilation and integration.[43] An Americanized (and often stereotypical) version of the original nation's cuisine, and its holidays, survived. The Melting Pot tradition co-exists with a belief in national unity, dating from the American founding fathers:

"Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people — a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs... This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties."[44]

As a philosophy, multiculturalism began as part of the pragmatism movement at the end of the nineteenth century in Europe and the United States, then as political and cultural pluralism at the turn of the twentieth.[45] It was partly in response to a new wave of European imperialism in sub-Saharan Africa and the massive immigration of Southern and Eastern Europeans to the United States and Latin America. Philosophers, psychologists and historians and early sociologists such as Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, George Santayana, Horace Kallen, John Dewey, W. E. B. Du Bois and Alain Locke developed concepts of cultural pluralism, from which emerged what we understand today as multiculturalism. In Pluralistic Universe (1909), William James espoused the idea of a "plural society." James saw pluralism as "crucial to the formation of philosophical and social humanism to help build a better, more egalitarian society.[46]

The educational approach to multiculturalism has since spread to the grade school system, as school systems try to rework their curricula to introduce students to diversity earlier—often on the grounds that it is important for minority students to see themselves represented in the classroom.[47] Studies estimated 46.3 million Americans ages 14 to 24 to be the most diverse generation in American society.[48] In 2009 and 2010, controversy erupted in Texas as the state's curriculum committee made several changes to the state's requirements, often at the expense of minorities. They chose to juxtapose Abraham Lincoln's inaugural address with that of Confederate president Jefferson Davis;[49] they debated removing Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and labor-leader César Chávez[50] and rejected calls to include more Hispanic figures, in spite of the high Hispanic population in the state.[51]

  United Kingdom

Modest multicultural policies[52] were adopted by local administrations from the 1970s and 1980s onwards, initially during the Labour government of Harold Wilson.[53] In 1997 the New Labour government committed to a multiculturalist approach at a national level, but after 2001 there was something of a backlash, led by centre-left commentators such as David Goodhart and Trevor Phillips. The government then embraced a policy of community cohesion instead. In 2011 Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader David Cameron said in a speech that "state multiculturalism has failed".[54]

  Continental Europe

  Ethno-linguistic map of Austria–Hungary, 1910. Ethnic nationalism became the paramount issue as Italians, Slavs and Hungarians resisted rule by the German-dominated Habsburg state.
  Ethno-linguistic map of the Second Polish Republic, 1937. The Polish-Ukrainian animosity grew into ethnic massacres of 1943-44 in which up to 100,000 Poles died.[55]

Historically, Europe has always been a mixture of Latin, Slavic, Germanic, Uralic, Celtic, Hellenic, Illyrian, Thracian and other cultures influenced by the importation of Hebraic, Christian, Muslim and other belief systems; although the continent was supposedly unified by the super-position of Imperial Roman Christianity, it is accepted that geographic and cultural differences continued from antiquity into the modern age.[56]

In the 19th century, the ideology of nationalism transformed the way Europeans thought about the state.[56] Existing states were broken up and new ones created; the new nation-states were founded on the principle that each nation is entitled to its own sovereignty and to engender, protect, and preserve its own unique culture and history. Unity, under this ideology, is seen as an essential feature of the nation and the nation-state—unity of descent, unity of culture, unity of language, and often unity of religion. The nation-state constitutes a culturally homogeneous society, although some national movements recognized regional differences.

Where cultural unity was insufficient, it was encouraged and enforced by the state.[57] The 19th-century nation-states developed an array of policies—the most important was compulsory primary education in the national language.[57] The language itself was often standardized by a linguistic academy, and regional languages were ignored or suppressed. Some nation-states pursued violent policies of cultural assimilation and even ethnic cleansing.[57]

Some European Union countries have introduced policies for "social cohesion", "integration", and (sometimes) "assimilation". The policies include:

Other countries have instituted policies which encourage cultural separation. The concept of “Cultural exception” proposed by France in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) negotiations in 1993 was an example of a measure aimed at protecting local cultures.[61]

  Bulgaria

During its thousand years of history Bulgaria has hosted many religions, ethnic groups and nations. The capital Sofia is the only European city that has peacefully functioning, within less than 100 meters,[62][63] four holy temples of the major religions: 1) Eastern Orthodox - St Nedelya Church, 2) Islam - Banya Bashi Mosque, 3) Roman Catholicism - Cathedral of St Joseph, Sofia and 4) Orthodox Judaism - Sofia Synagogue, the third largest synagogue in Europe.

  St Nedelya Church in Sofia

This unique arrangement has been called by historians a "multicultural cliche".[64] It has also become known as "The Triangle of Religious Tolerance"[65] and has innitiated the construction of a 100 square meters scale model of the site that is to become a symbol of the capital.[66][67][68]

Furthermore unlike some other Nazi Germany allies or German-occupied countries excluding Denmark, Bulgaria managed to save its entire 48,000-strong Jewish population during World War II from deportation to concentration camps.[69] [70] According to Dr. Marinova-Christidi the main reason for the efforts of Bulgarian people to save the Bulgarian Jews during WWII is Bulgaria's history of “co-existed for centuries with other religions” - giving it a unique multi-cultural and multi-ethnic history.[71]

Consequently, Bulgaria has become a Balkan region's example of multiculturalism - not only in religious but also in artistic terms[72] and ethnic means[73][74]. Its largest ethnic minorities, Turks and Roma, enjoy wide political representation. In 1984 an underground organization called «National Liberation Movement of the Turks in Bulgaria» was formed in Bulgaria which headed the Turkish community's opposition movement. On January 4, 1990 the activists of the movement registered an organization with the legal name «Movement for Rights and Freedom» (MRF) (in Bulgarian: Движение за права и свободи: in Turkish: Hak ve Özgürlükler Hareketi) in the Bulgarian city of Varna. At the moment of registration it had 33 members, at present, according to the organization's website, 68 thousand members plus 24 thousand in the organization's youth wing [1]. In 2012 Bulgarian Turks are represented at every level of government - local, with MRF having mayors in 35 municipalities, at parliamentary level with MRF having 38 deputies (14% of the votes in Parliamentary elections for 2009-13)[75] and at executive level, where there is currently one Turkish minister - Vezhdi Rashidov. Twenty one Roma political organizations were founded between 1997 and 2003 in Bulgaria.[76]

  Netherlands

Multiculturalism in the Netherlands began with a major increases in immigration during the mid 1950s and 1960s.[77] As a consequence, an official national policy of multiculturalism was adopted in the early 1980s.[77] This policy subsequently gave way to more assimilationist policies in the 1990s.[77] Following the murders of Pim Fortuyn (in 2002) and Theo van Gogh (in 2004) the political debate on the role of multiculturalism in the Netherlands reached new heights.[78]

Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, distinguishes between tolerance and multiculturalism, and says that the Netherlands is a tolerant, rather than multicultural, society.[79] The right-wing cabinet recently said the Netherlands is going to take distance of Multicultural ideas about a multicultural society. "Dutch culture, norms and values must be dominant" Minister Donner said.[80]

  Germany

In October 2010, Angela Merkel told a meeting of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at Potsdam, near Berlin, that attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany had "utterly failed",[81] stating: "The concept that we are now living side by side and are happy about it does not work".,[81][82] She continued to say that immigrants should integrate and adopt Germany's culture and values. This has added to a growing debate within Germany[83] on the levels of immigration, its effect on Germany and the degree to which Muslim immigrants have integrated into German society.

  Philippines

The Philippines is the 8th most multiethnic nation in the world.[84] It has 10 distinct major indigenous ethnic groups mainly the Bicolano, Ibanag, Ilocano, Ivatan, Kapampangan, Moro, Pangasinense, Sambal, Tagalog and Visayan. The Philippines also has several aboriginal races such as the Badjao, Igorot, Lumad, Mangyan and Negritos. The country also has considerable communities of American, Arabic, Chinese, Indian, and Hispanic descent, and other ethnicities from other countries. The Philippine government has various programs supporting and preserving the nation's ethnic diversity.[85]

  India

  An anti-discrimination poster in a Hong Kong subway station, c. 2005

India is racially, culturally, linguistically, ethnically and religiously the most diverse country in the world. As per the 1961 Census of India, the country is home to 1652 mother tongues.[86] The culture of India has been shaped by its long history, unique geography and diverse demography. India's languages, religions, dance, music, architecture and customs differ from place to place within the country, but nevertheless possess a commonality. The culture of India is an amalgamation of these diverse sub-cultures spread all over the Indian subcontinent and traditions that are several millennia old.[87] The Indian caste system describes the social stratification and social restrictions in the Indian subcontinent, in which social classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups, often termed as jātis or castes.[88]

The term multiculturalism is not much used in India. Within Indian culture, the term diversity is more commonly used.

Religiously, the Hindus form the majority, followed by the Muslims. The statistics are: Hindu (80.5%), Muslim (13.4%), Christian (2.3%), Sikh (2.1%), Buddhist, Bahá'í, Jain, Jew and Parsi populations.[89] Linguistically, the two main language families in India are Indo-Aryan (a branch of Indo-European) and Dravidian. India officially follows a three-language policy. Hindi (spoken in the form of Hindi-Urdu) is the federal official language, English has the federal status of associate/subsidiary official language and each state has its own state official language (in the Hindi sprachraum, this reduces to bilingualism). The Republic of India's state boundaries are largely drawn based on linguistic groups; this decision led to the preservation and continuation of local ethno-linguistic sub-cultures, except for the Hindi sprachraum which is itself divided into many states. Thus, most states differ from one another in language, culture, cuisine, clothing, literary style, architecture, music and festivities. See Culture of India for more information.

Occasionally, however, India has encountered religiously motivated violence,[90] such as the Moplah Riots, the Bombay riots, the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and 2002 Gujarat riots.

  Indonesia

There are more than 700 living languages spoken in Indonesia[91] and although predominantly Muslim the country also has large Christian and Hindu populations. Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka tunggal ika" ("Unity in Diversity" lit. "many, yet one"), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Due to migration within Indonesia (as part of government transmigration programs or otherwise), there are significant populations of ethnic groups who reside outside of their traditional regions. Soon after the fourth Indonesian President, Abdurrahman Wahid came into power in 1999, he quickly abolished some of the discriminatory laws in efforts to improve race relationships.[citation needed]

  Japan

Japanese society, with its ideology of homogeneity, has traditionally rejected any need to recognize ethnic differences in Japan, even as such claims have been rejected by such ethnic minorities as the Ainu and Ryukyuan people.[92] Japanese Minister Taro Aso has called Japan a “one race” nation.[93] However, there are "International Society" NPOs funded by local governments throughout Japan.[94]

  Malaysia

Malaysia is a multiethnic country, with Malays making up the majority, close to 52% of the population. About 24.6% of the population are Malaysians of Chinese descent. Malaysians of Indian descent comprise about 7% of the population. The remaining 10% comprises:

The Malaysian New Economic Policy or NEP serves as a form of affirmative action (see Bumiputera).[95] It promotes structural changes in various aspects of life from education to economic to social integration. Established after the May 13 racial riots of 1969, it sought to address the significant imbalance in the economic sphere where the minority Chinese population had substantial control over commercial activity in the country.

The Malay Peninsula has a long history of international trade contacts, influencing its ethnic and religious composition. Predominantly Malays before the 18th century, the ethnic composition changed dramatically when the British introduced new industries, and imported Chinese and Indian labor. Several regions in the then British Malaya such as Penang, Malacca and Singapore became Chinese dominated. Co-existence between the three ethnicities (and other minor groups) was largely peaceful, despite the fact the immigration affected the demographic and cultural position of the Malays.

Preceding independence of the Federation of Malaya, a social contract was negotiated as the basis of a new society. The contract as reflected in the 1957 Malayan Constitution and the 1963 Malaysian Constitution states that the immigrant groups are granted citizenship, and Malays' special rights are guaranteed. This is often referred to the Bumiputra policy.

These pluralist policies have come under pressure from racialist Malay parties, who oppose perceived subversion of Malay rights. The issue is sometimes related to the controversial status of religious freedom in Malaysia.

  Mauritius

Multiculturalism has been a characteristic feature of the island of Mauritius.[96] Mauritian society includes people from many different ethnic and religious groups: Hindu, Muslim and Sikh Indo-Mauritians, Mauritian Creoles (of African and Malagasy descent), Buddhist and Roman Catholic Sino-Mauritians and Franco-Mauritians (descendants of the original French colonists).[97]

  Singapore

Besides English, Singapore recognizes three other languages, namely, Mandarin Chinese, Tamil and Malay as its official languages, with Malay being the national language. Besides being a multilingual country, Singapore also acknowledges festivals celebrated by these three ethnic communities.

During the British colonial rule, there are areas which are enclaves containing a large population of certain ethnic groups exist in areas such as Chinatown, Geylang and Little India in Singapore. Presently (2010), remnants of the colonial ethnic concentration still exists but housing in Singapore is governed by the Ethnic Integration Policy.[98] The current Indian/Others ethnic limits are 10% and 13%, the limits for Malays are 22% and 25%, the limits for Chinese are 84% and 87% for the maximum ethnic limits for a neighborhood and a block respectively.

  South Korea

South Korea is among the world's most ethnically homogeneous nations.[99] Those who do not share such features are often rejected by the Korean society or face discrimination.[100]

However, the word "multiculturalism" is increasingly heard in South Korea. In 2007, Han Geon-Soo, Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kangwon National University, published an article entitled "Multicultural Korea: Celebration or Challenge of Multiethnic Shift in Contemporary Korea?", noting: "As the increase of foreign migrants in Korea transforms a single-ethnic homogenous Korean society into multiethnic and multicultural one, Korean government and the civil society pay close attention to multiculturalism as an alternative value to their policy and social movement." He argued, however, that "the current discourses and concerns on multiculturalism in Korea" lacked "the constructive and analytical concepts for transforming a society".[101]

The same year, Stephen Castles of the International Migration Institute argued:

"Korea no longer has to decide whether it wants to become a multicultural society. It made that decision years ago – perhaps unconsciously – when it decided to be a full participant in the emerging global economy. It confirmed that decision when it decided to actively recruit foreign migrants to meet the economic and demographic needs of a fast-growing society. Korea is faced by a different decision today: what type of multicultural society does it want to be?"[102]

The Korea Times suggested in 2009 that South Korea was likely to become a multicultural society.[103] In 2010, JoongAng Daily reported: "Media in Korea is abuzz with the new era of multiculturalism. With more than one million foreigners in Korea, 2 percent of the population comes from other cultures." It added:

"If you stay too long, Koreans become uncomfortable with you. [...] Having a 2 percent foreign population unquestionably causes ripples, but having one million temporary foreign residents does not make Korea a multicultural society. [...] In many ways, this homogeneity is one of Korea’s greatest strengths. Shared values create harmony. Sacrifice for the nation is a given. Difficult and painful political and economic initiatives are endured without discussion or debate. It is easy to anticipate the needs and behavior of others. It is the cornerstone that has helped Korea survive adversity. But there is a downside, too. [...] Koreans are immersed in their culture and are thus blind to its characteristics and quirks. Examples of group think are everywhere. Because Koreans share values and views, they support decisions even when they are obviously bad. Multiculturalism will introduce contrasting views and challenge existing assumptions. While it will undermine the homogeneity, it will enrich Koreans with a better understanding of themselves."[104]

Although many debates still take place in discussing whether Korea really is a muticultural society or not, it is a mutual agreement that Korea has probably entered a stage of multiculturalism and has moved away from its homogenous identity. It is a notified fact that around 35~40% of Korean man in the rural area outside Seoul are engaged with wives from different countries. According to the Dongponews, an online media that connects migrants and immigrants of Korea, the number of foreigners residing in Korea have reached 1.43 million by 2012, and is likely to increase more and more, reaching to the scale that cannot be undermined. More than that, Korea is going through a serious stage of low birthrate, leading to an aging society in shortage of labor forces. Another big changing factor is that Korea already has multi-ethnic, multi-cultural families appearing in great numbers, as one in every ten marriage is between a Korean and a foreigner, and in the rural side this portion is greater. [105]As such change takes place in such short period of time, it can be understood that many conflicts arise among different groups of people; the immigrants, government, and the rest of the members in Korean society. Recently a lot of media attention is given to these people; documentaries on the lives of wives and their children are often shown, as well as talk shows that portrays struggles and conflicts these people go through such as Love in Asia; a talk show hosting foreign wives, sharing their experience of marriage and family life, broadcased by the national broadcasting channel, KBS. Although whether these channels of media provide the right source of direction to the public is debatable, it is factually true that many Koreans nowadays do recognize the change that the society is going through due to these media attention. Government policies have also changed very recently; a lot of welfare programs and extracurricular activities are launched under the name of "multicultural policy." The policy is quite recent phenomenon and therefore its effects and counter effects need to be assessed in many different ways. Further studies and development in this area is obviously required, as this is a very rapid social change to Koreans and their society.

  Support for multiculturalism

Multiculturalism is seen by its supporters as a fairer system that allows people to truly express who they are within a society, that is more tolerant and that adapts better to social issues.[106] They argue that culture is not one definable thing based on one race or religion, but rather the result of multiple factors that change as the world changes.

Historically, support for modern multiculturalism stems from the changes in Western societies after World War II, in what Susanne Wessendorf calls the "human rights revolution", in which the horrors of institutionalized racism and ethnic cleansing became almost impossible to ignore in the wake of the Holocaust; with the collapse of the European colonial system, as colonized nations in Africa and Asia successfully fought for their independence and pointed out the racist underpinnings of the colonial system; and, in the United States in particular, with the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, which criticized ideals of assimilation that often led to prejudices against those who did not act according to Anglo-American standards and which led to the development of academic ethnic studies programs as a way to counteract the neglect of contributions by racial minorities in classrooms.[107][108] As this history shows, multiculturalism in Western countries was seen as a useful set of strategies to combat racism, to protect minority communities of all types, and to undo policies that had prevented minorities from having full access to the opportunities for freedom and equality promised by the liberalism that has been the hallmark of Western societies since the Age of Enlightenment.

  Teenagers of various backgrounds in Oslo, Norway.

C. James Trotman argues that multiculturalism is valuable because it "uses several disciplines to highlight neglected aspects of our social history, particularly the histories of women and minorities [...and] promotes respect for the dignity of the lives and voices of the forgotten.[109] By closing gaps, by raising consciousness about the past, multiculturalism tries to restore a sense of wholeness in a postmodern era that fragments human life and thought."[109]

Tariq Modood argues that in the early years of the 21st Century, multiculturalism "is most timely and necessary, and [...] we need more not less", since it is "the form of integration" that (1) best fits the ideal of egalitarianism, (2) has "the best chance of succeeding" in the "post-9/11, post 7/7" world, and (3) has remained "moderate [and] pragmatic".[110]

Bhikhu Parekh counters what he sees as the tendencies to equate multiculturalism with racial minorities "demanding special rights" and to see it as promoting a "thinly veiled racis[m]". Instead, he argues that multiculturalism is in fact "not about minorities" but "is about the proper terms of relationship between different cultural communities", which means that the standards by which the communities resolve their differences, e.g., "the principles of justice" must not come from only one of the cultures but must come "through an open and equal dialogue between them."[111]

  Opposition to multiculturalism

Critics of multiculturalism often debate whether the multicultural ideal of benignly co-existing cultures that interrelate and influence one another, and yet remain distinct, is sustainable, paradoxical, or even desirable.[112][113][114] It is argued that Nation states, who would previously have been synonymous with a distinctive cultural identity of their own, lose out to enforced multiculturalism and that this ultimately erodes the host nations' distinct culture.[115]

Harvard professor of political science Robert D. Putnam conducted a nearly decade long study how multiculturalism affects social trust.[116] He surveyed 26,200 people in 40 American communities, finding that when the data were adjusted for class, income and other factors, the more racially diverse a community is, the greater the loss of trust. People in diverse communities "don’t trust the local mayor, they don’t trust the local paper, they don’t trust other people and they don’t trust institutions," writes Putnam.[117] In the presence of such ethnic diversity, Putnam maintains that

[W]e hunker down. We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined. And it’s not just that we don’t trust people who are not like us. In diverse communities, we don’t trust people who do look like us.[116]

Ethologist Frank Salter writes:

Relatively homogeneous societies invest more in public goods, indicating a higher level of public altruism. For example, the degree of ethnic homogeneity correlates with the government's share of gross domestic product as well as the average wealth of citizens. Case studies of the United States, Africa and South-East Asia find that multi-ethnic societies are less charitable and less able to cooperate to develop public infrastructure. Moscow beggars receive more gifts from fellow ethnics than from other ethnies [sic]. A recent multi-city study of municipal spending on public goods in the United States found that ethnically or racially diverse cities spend a smaller portion of their budgets and less per capita on public services than do the more homogenous cities.[118]

Dick Lamm, former three-term Democratic governor of the US state of Colorado, wrote in his essay "I have a plan to destroy America":

"Diverse peoples worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other - that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent."[119]

In Aotearoa (New Zealand), which is officially bi-cultural, multiculturalism has been seen as a threat to Maori, and possibly an attempt by Pakeha (whites) to water down the growing strength of Maori demands for self determination. http://alt.sagepub.com/content/33/1/29.abstract

  See also

  References

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