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The Impact Of Multiculturalism On Western Societies

2310 words - 10 pages

Multiculturalism is a public policy approach for managing cultural diversity in a multi ethnic society, officially stressing mutual respect and tolerance for cultural differences within a country's borders. As a policy, multiculturalism emphasizes the unique characteristics of different cultures, especially as they relate to one another in receiving nations. The word was first used in 1957 to describe Switzerland, but came into common currency in Canada in the late 1960s. It quickly spread to other English-speaking countries. Looking at the term broadly, it is often used to describe societies, especially nations which have many distinct cultural groups, usually as a result of immigration. ...view middle of the document...

(2012 p.146) say that “ This shift away from support for ‘multiculturalism’ altogether towards a greater focus on an Australian core culture is evident in a number of changes that occurred during this time. These include the increased emphasis in public discourse on a ‘distinctive Australian character’”
From the 1970’s onwards, multiculturalism emerged in many countries, including Australia, as a policy tool to cope with and manage the increasing cultural diversity of society seeing as the great cities of the Western world are increasingly being made of a mosaic of cultures. It was premised on the assumption that diverse cultural groups should be permitted to express, enjoy and celebrate their cultural identity. These assumptions replaced those underlying assimilations policies that envisioned the inevitable demise and melting away of migrants and minority cultures and their absorption by the dominant culture. Goot, M cited in Holmes, D.,Hughes,K. and Julian,R. (2012 p.156) mentions that “On the basis of survey data analysis ,he concluded that multiculturalists appeared to outnumber monoculturalists, although the number of Australians were caught ‘somewhere in between’” “The Queer theory involves a range of intellectual ideas rooted in the contention that identities are not fixed and stable and do not determine who we are .Rather identities are seen as historically and socially constructed processes that are both fluid and contested.”(Ritzer, G.2011 p.229)
With every change to a society comes a few of those who disagree and just want to be different. Racists have always and will always be a part of our society. With introduction of multiculturalism, racial vilification has risen. A prime example was due to an incorrect stereotype such as that all Muslims are terrorists, which was brought about by the attack on the USA in 2011. Noble (2005 p.119) cited in Holmes,D.,Hughes,K. and Julian,R.(2012 p.155) says that “Australia exhibits the prevailing Western mood of existential insecurity; a world in which we are no longer sure who we can trust ,whether our identities and communities are meaningful any more ,whether we have any; but this is not simply the result of September 11,it is the condition of late modernity.
The stereotyping can be explained by the cultural theory which is a way of explaining how and why individuals form judgements about the danger that Muslims are to all non Muslims. Cultural theory is universal and distinctive sets of values, beliefs and habits in nations, neighbourhoods, tribes and races are reducible to only a few cultural biases and preferences. Cultural theory is one of many approaches that have been used to cope with the subjectivity inherent in analysing long term global change.
Ritzer,G. (2011 p.580) mentions that “the cultural paradigm has a long history ,but it has attracted increasing attention and adherents(as well as critics) in recent years ,because of two sets of current events. One is the terrorist...

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