Many multiculturalists argue not simply that cultural values are incommensurate, but that also that different cultures should be treated equal respect. The American scholar Iris Young, for instance, writes that 'groups cannot be socially equal unless their specific, experience, culture and social contributions are publicly affirmed and recognised.'
Multiculturalism In the words of Thomas Bray, "Should we "assimilate" to one standard, or should we "celebrate" diversity?" This is a popular question in America's classrooms today.
His integrity and creativity beyond doubt, the author himself fell into that nebulous realm defined by the esoteric convergence of philosophy, politics, great literature and intellectual courage. Whether Giuseppe Tomasi was a true pacifist is debated; perhaps even he did not know for certain. His psyche was, at the very least, complex, even to his psychologist wife. Nevertheless, his defiance of Italian social conformity was very real if often subtle. In the 1930s, few Italians were prepared to risk Tomasi's "unconventional" choices - questioning the underpinnings of Italy's (unification) movement, choosing (perhaps creating) a philosophical path independent of either Fascism or Communism, becoming an Anglophile when it was unfashionable (even dangerous) to do so, marrying a brilliant woman in a "foreign" Church rather than the "Italian" Roman Catholic one. Worldly, ecumenical, cosmopolitan, Giuseppe Tomasi was an aristocratic twentieth-century personification of Sicily's medieval multicultural heritage. Was he an eccentric scholar reincarnated from the enlightened court of Frederick II, or simply a displaced academic fifty years ahead of his time?
Multiculturalists have turned their back on universalist conceptions not because such conceptions are racist but because they have given up on the possibility of economic and social change. We live in an age in which there is considerable disillusionment with politics as an agency of change, and in which possibilities of social transformation seem to have receded. What is important about human beings, many have come to believe, is not their political capacity but their cultural attachments. Such pessimism has led to multiculturalists to conflate the idea of humans as culture-bearing creatures with the idea that humans have to bear a particular culture.
Clearly no human can live outside of culture. But to say this is not to say they have to live inside a particular one. To view humans as culture-bearing is to view them as social beings, and hence as transformative beings. It suggests that humans have the capacity for change, for progress, and for the creation of universal moral and political forms through reason and dialogue.
A truly plural society would be one in which citizens have full freedom to pursue their different values or practices in private, while in the public sphere all citizens would be treated as political equals whatever the differences in their private lives. Today, however, pluralism has come to mean the very opposite. The right to practice a particular religion, speak a particular language, follow a particular cultural practice is seen as a public good rather than a private freedom. Different interest groups demand to have their 'differences' institutionalised in the public sphere. And to enforce such a vision we have to call in the Thought Police.
By definition, assimilation is the complete “merging of cultural traits from previously distinct culture groups” (Dictionary), while multiculturalism is delineated as the “preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within a unified society,...
Culture, faith, lifestyle, feelings - these are all aspects of our private lives and should be of no concern to the state or other public authorities. Multiculturalist policies inevitably bring to mind George Orwell's description in 1984 - 'A Party member lives from birth to death under the eye of the Thought Police... His friendships, his relaxations, his behaviour towards his wife and children, the expression on his face when he is alone, the words he mutters in his sleep, even the characteristic movements of his body are all jealously scrutinised.'
According to The Real World: An Introduction to Sociology by Jill Stein and Kerry Ferris, multiculturalism is the encouragement of acceptance of cultural differences within a society instead of the forceful nature of eliminating other cultural ideas that are not the perceived “dominant” notions (G9)....
With the emergence of neoliberalism and the development of new technology followed by globalization, free trade between nations has accelerated the immigration process around the world, making a multicultural society inevitable in modern life.
The thought police are already at work. On more than one occasion over the past decade I have been refused permission by both newspaper and radio editors to quote Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses because it was considered to cause too much 'offence'. The McPherson inquiry into Stephen Lawrence argued that even racist comments made in the privacy of the home should be made a criminal offence. Thankfully, this suggestion has so far been ignored politically. Many multiculturalists, however, wish to go further still, demanding that all private thought and feelings be subject to political scrutiny. Iris Young welcomes what she calls 'the continuing effort to politicise vast areas of institutional, social and cultural life.' Politics, she suggests, 'concerns all aspects of institutional organisation, public action, social practices and habits, and cultural meanings'. 'The process of politicising habits, feelings and expressions of fantasy and desire', can Young believes, 'foster a cultural revolution'.
The United States of America is one of the world’s largest multicultural societies in which black African, white European, and Asian people live together, and all of them originally migrated to the region with different goals, cultures and religions....
I have always had a strong emotional connection to integration and multiculturalism, having lived in many different places with such diverse cultures-Brazil, UAE, Mozambique, England, Germany- I was fortunate enough to experience what is to grow up among worlds.