Is Multiculturalism dead? Critically examine arguments for and against multiculturalism in the context of relevant literature sources on the subject.
This essay will appraise and analyse the contention that multiculturalism is dead. It will consider arguments for and against in conjunction with relevant written frameworks of ; Barrow: 2009: 2012; Claval: 2010; Crick: 1989; Cowie: 2003; Miene: 2006; Gordon: 1998; Guttmann: 1999; Modood: 2007:2010; Richardson: 1990; Rosado: 1996; Young: 1999; etc The essay will also evaluate the interlinking variable such ‘race’, faith and ethnicity that conceptualise multiculturalism and at the same time explain the main causes of these salient issues as well as their implication, socially, economically and politically in Britain to date. Based on different social policies as well sociological and political theorist and their approaches, the essay will determine whether multiculturalism has been displaced by the current concept of Britishness. As a nation, Britain has without doubt moved on from an Agrarian society mostly troubled with traditionalism, through an Industrial Society concerned with independence and equality, to our present Information Society concerned with diversity within a global context of a Universal Society of the 21st century(Meine: 2006). To date, Multiculturalism is a paradigm that still varies in its interpretation and has been a subject of great upheaval both culturally and politically; and a concept that is greatly misused and highly misunderstood. Since for most it is also ‘a value-ladened concept’ which has been constantly targeted by different sections of the public who because of their societal position see the world differently i.e. ‘the fact that where you stand determines what you see is a reality in most situations, and it is especially true for the concept of multiculturalism’ (Rosado: 1996: 2). In America, the term is very contentious especially politically and is associated with ideas of humanism, human rights and equal citizenship resulting to the rise in controversies of group differences exemplified in the ideas of Afro-centricity, ethnicity, femininity and gay rights to become the politics of identity (Young, 1990; Guttmann, 2003)
Whilst in Britain and other parts of Europe, multiculturalism is considered to be more constrictive in its connotations, embodying a new orientation towards the future; therefore identifying today’s livelihood to be a multicultural society via the fundamental movement of people rather than an emergence of a political movement (Modood, 2007). Definition:
To many the aims of attaining social solidarity, social integration, citizenship, mutual respect and acceptance are suggested within a context of growing contradictions in relation to understanding and defining multiculturalism. It is quite clear that the terms multiculturalism, ethnic pluralism, assimilation, integration, race and racism had a contested history in intellectual thought. However these concepts have been used in racial discourses to define governing patterns of social interaction within race relations across the UK (Gordon: 1998). Meine (2006) defines Multiculturalism as a doctrine of rather more than one national culture co-existing amiably and equitably in a single country. He states that multiculturalism is often viewed as cultural pluralism defining the equal cohabitation of various cultures in vicinity without one culture governing the region. He articulates that this concept is more than just the condition of a society but also can represent a certain kind of public policy with a methodology for handling cultural diversity to include tolerance and mutual respect in a society. While theorists of multiculturalism, are inclined to emphasize their arguments in defining multiculturalism as being used widely to identify the political and moral aims of a diverse group of disadvantage individuals based on ethnicity and religious...
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