What is multiculturalism?

  • (noun): The doctrine that several different cultures (rather than one national culture) can co-exist peacefully and equitably in a single country.

Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism relates to communities containing multiple cultures. The term is used in two broad ways, either descriptively or normatively. 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 is a society “at ease with the rich tapestry of human life and the desire amongst people to express their own identity in the manner they see fit.” Such ideologies or policies vary widely, including country to country, 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. However, two main different and seemingly inconsistent strategies have developed through different Government policies and strategies: 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. 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.

Read more about Multiculturalism.

Some articles on multiculturalism:

Clare Dunne - Multicultural Broadcasting Pioneer
... then-Prime Minister Bob Hawke delivered a "series of blows aimed at multiculturalism", including a decision to close the Australian Institute of ... There seems to be an undeclared Government change of policy about multiculturalism ... be independent." She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1999 for "service to multiculturalism, particularly through the promotion of ...
Shirley R. Steinberg - Critical Multiculturalism
... Critical Multiculturalism is an idea that draws upon the evolving theoretical position emerging in the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory in the 1920s, The framework for Critical ... Stephen Bigger's 1998 review of Changing Multiculturalism, he writes, "Multiculturalism, a problematic term, is clarified into a position called ‘critical ...
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 ... identity of their own, lose out to enforced multiculturalism and that this ultimately erodes the host nations' distinct culture ... Putnam conducted a nearly decade long study how multiculturalism affects social trust ...
Multicultural Particularism
... In discussions of multiculturalism, historian and educator Diane Ravitch draws a distinction between what she terms "pluralistic" and "particularistic" varieties ... this distinction it is often difficult to discern whether advocacy for "diversity" or "multiculturalism" is intended to promote particularism or not ... In a long essay about multiculturalism in American education, Ravitch praises the inclusiveness of multicultural pluralism while decrying what she says as ...
Multiculturalism Without Culture
... Multiculturalism without Culture is a book written by Anne Phillips ... The topic of multiculturalism is explored by Phillips with reference to such subjects as Feminism, Anthropology, Political Theory, Law, and Philosophy ... stemmed from the contrasting concerns of multiculturalism challenging the rights of women and feminism encroaching upon the well-being of cultures ...