Multiculturalism

Explain Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiculturalism.

Introduction

Culture can be defined as a set of beliefs, values, customs and social behavior of a society. Before the modern period, culture of a society was restricted to a particular geographic location (Csikszentmihalyi, 2014). However, globalization and the advancement in transport and technology have resulted in migration of several cultural groups from one place to another in search of income, education and source of living. As a result the 21st century has become an era of multiculturalism where multiple ethnic groups have been accepted in a single geography. Several countries including Australia, USA, India, UAE etc., experience a life amongst mixed ethnic group (Modood, 2013). The field trip to the global village is a true cultural attraction and helps educating and experiencing different cultures around the globe.

Advantages of Multiculturalism

Living in a multi-cultural society can be challenging initially but the advantages of such a lifestyle are numerous. Below listed are some key advantages

  1. Adaptability: A person living in a multi-cultural society is easily adaptable to new situations. In these societies, every individual develops a sense of understanding to people who may have completely different set of beliefs and sometimes controversial beliefs. When a person is used to an ever changing society, changes in other fields of life such as work and education are easily adopted (Benet, 2012).
  2. Open Minded: The concept of racism substantially reduces when living in a multi-cultural society. The core issues of racism is due to following the ideologies of the ancestors without understanding the real situation. Once a person starts living amongst different cultures, the person would automatically understand why people behave in certain ways.
  3. Supportive Environment: Living in a single belief system would mean that doing anything different would go against the system. There are several cultures that strongly believe that Homosexuality is a sin and people who are homosexual are abandoned by their community. When living in a multi-cultural society, a community that does not have the same belief system would help in understanding and supporting the abandoned individual (Foster, 2013)
  4. Interesting: One thing about the global village is that everything they do is interesting. The various counters are a bouquet of what the world is like. The carnivals, food festivals and celebrations are always fun and entertaining.
  5. Food: The major advantage of living in a multi-cultural society is that one can taste different cuisines without travelling. The Biryani, Thai green curry, shawarma, shepherd’s pie Turkish grill at the global village where all an amazing encounter.

Disadvantages of Multiculturalism

Everything has pros and cons and so does multiculturalism

  1. Disappearance of culture: When multiple cultures live together the chances of adapting other convenient cultures highly increase which may result in erasing an entire culture (Eriksen, 2012). The Khmer culture of Cambodia adopted Theravada Buddhism over years erasing the existence of Khmer.
  2. Increase of hatred: When two controversial cultures exist in the same area the chances of abuse, threats and violence is high. The communities may try to prove one another wrong or one above the other leading to power issues and increase in hatred such as the religion in Israel between Palestinian and Jewish causing several causalities.
  3. Host society is affected: The culture of the host society is considerably diluted by multiculturalism. The immigrants may or may not work for the benefit of the host society which may be a threat to the host society (Lawrence, 2016)
  4. Offence: If the cultures one lives in is not completely understood, the chances of offending someone is high. In certain cultures women should not be touched by a male apart from their husband. When a person that greets with a hug would be an offender if he does not understand how the other culture behaves.

Surviving in multicultural Societies

Many individuals around the world today are constantly migrating to other countries for better education, employment and other facilities. The below list of skills can be helpful when migrating to live on a multicultural society.

  1. Do not expect: One of the key reasons why one may not survive in a multi-cultural society is expecting the society to behave in a certain way. Every turn at the global village was a pleasant surprise. No matter how much one learns about a community, living amongst them may not be simple (Modood, 2014).
  2. Open Mindedness: A person should be able to accept what the other culture believes without contradicting or trying to establish supremacy.
  3. Respect the other community: it is important to recognize that each community is different and hence one has to respect the other to ensure a peaceful environment
  4. Read and prepare: Before moving into a new culture, it is important to understand the basics of the host culture especially behaviors, attitudes and words that may be offensive and avoiding the same in all situations.
  5. Be sure before adopting: It is not advisable to move into a culture that completely opposes one’s own culture. Say a person who are against animal slaughter are not advised to move into communities where animal slaughters are a ritual and a part of their daily consumption.

Conclusion

Multiculturalism is unavoidable due to globalization. The concept is being continues adopted as the advantages of multiculturalism overpower the negatives. Multiculturalism when rightly modeled can lead to a peaceful, open-minded, supportive communities (Crowder, 2013).

References

Benet-Martínez, V., 2012. Multiculturalism: Cultural, social, and personality processes. Handbook of personality and social psychology, pp.623-648.

Crowder, G., 2013. Theories of multiculturalism: an introduction. Polity.

Csikszentmihalyi, M., 2014. Society, culture, and person: A systems view of creativity (pp. 47-61). Springer Netherlands.

Eriksen, J.M., Stjernfelt, F. and Stjernfelt, F., 2012. The democratic contradictions of multiculturalism. Telos Press Pub..

Foster, C., 2013. Genuine multiculturalism: the tragedy and comedy of diversity. McGill-Queen’s Press-MQUP.

Lawrence, P., 2016. Exodus: immigration and multiculturalism in the 21st century. Review of African Political Economy, 43(148), pp.328-336.

Modood, T., 2013. Multiculturalism. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Modood, T., 2014. Multiculturalism, interculturalisms and the majority. Journal of Moral Education, 43(3), pp.302-315.

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