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The Impact of Multiculturalism on Western Societies

In: Social Issues

Submitted By msMhu
Words 2290
Pages 10
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. Citrin,J., Sears,D., Muste,C and Wong,C. (2001 p.249) describe multiculturalism as “the presence of people of diverse racial or ethnic backgrounds within a single polity.” This paper will look at the impact that multiculturalism has had on western societies and the different changes that have occurred in societies as a result of multiculturalism.

It is very important to think about what we mean by ‘culture’ because it is the main part of ‘multiculturalism’. So, multiculturalism means that there are many different kinds of cultures in one society. This can lead to anxiety about the stability of national identity, yet it can also lead to cultural exchanges that benefit the cultural groups. Such exchanges range from major accomplishments in literature, art and philosophy to relatively token appreciation of variations in music, dress and new foods. Multiculturalism can be negative because it is prone to conflicts, especially between ethnic groups or religions. But this can only happen if multiculturalism is viewed in the wrong perspective. The wrong perspective here is seeing multiculturalism as a threat instead of something that is completely normal. Holmes,D.,Hughes,K. and...

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