Multiculturalism

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refers to the integration and acceptance of several differentcultural traditions and practices. is as a resultimmigration of people from different geographical locations andsettling down into the new locale. For example, in Yale University inthe United States of America, students come from different parts ofthe world all coming to seek good and quality education. This has ledto cultural diversity being promoted in the university whereby aspecific group of people from a certain community is addressedaccording to the community they hail from.

Intoday’s multicultural Australia, many new policies supporting thecomfortable living of all non-Australian nationalities have beenformulated. in Australia developed in 1972 when thethen president Mr. Gough Whitlam took into adherence of the policieswhich called for tolerance and engagement into the general countrydevelopment. At one time, Australia was regarded virtually empty andattempts to fill up the continent arose and thus settlers from theUnited Kingdom who were not native Australians settled permanentlyand that’s why until the 20thcentury it was still being referred as a British colony (Mark, 2000).

Atone time, multiculturalism in Australia was understood to be the needof the majority of the population to accept that many members oftheir community hail from different cultures and still acknowledgetheir cultures and are yet to let go of them. This brought the needfor people to express their different cultural identity and thus itwas noted that through this many distinct cultures could beidentified.

Australiahas many ethnic and cultural diverse people who carry with themdifferent traditions, food, skills, religion, language and dressing,the integration has led to exchange of ideologies forming part of amajor intercultural community which embraces individual cultures(Hughes, 1997). Today’s multicultural Australia has embraced theneed for festivities which show how Australia as a whole has accepteddifferent cultures which form the nation.

However,multiculturalism has brought about critics from scholars likeLachlan Chipman, Raymond Sestito and Frank Knopfelmacher who wereconcerned about its social impacts and political impacts.Philosophers Chipman (Chipman, 1982) and Knopfelmacher(Knopfelmacher, 1982) generated social impacts that a huge number ofimmigrants to Australia were unskilled and illiterate which wouldrequire the government to come in and help them so that they canachieve the economical goal of full employment. In order foremployment the government had to set aside funds which would be usedin the training and development of the new immigrants and it wasdeemed as wastage of the country’s resources which ought to beprotected for other uses. Sestito (Sestito, 1982) argued on politicalbasis that multiculturalism would hinder the understanding ofAustralia’s political systems based on the different culturesfound.

Itwas also argued that multiculturalism was being used as a tool offavoring the ethnic minorities which were the small percentage of thepopulation at the expense of the majority that is, the British whoform the largest group of immigrants into Australia. Some of theimplemented policies created division among the distinct groups andsuch divisions are known to be a threat to national cohesion.

BeingAustralian in today’s society would mean acceptance of the currentethnic heterogeneity in the country and the strong willingness tocome together and build the nation as one big community. This is whatis referred to as ethnically homogenous nation. A homogenous nationis known to be development conscious, production oriented and anadvocate to equity to all its citizens. When all this factors arebrought together: economic growth, fewer criminal cases, more foreignaid to the needy nations and proper care to the disadvantaged in thesociety will be noted. Although this is yet to be fully witnessed butit is believed that measures have been put in place to see that allethnic communities get equal treatment and also that equalopportunities are presented to each and every Australian and notbased on their origin (Hughes, 1997).

Thenotion of multiculturalism relevance in today’s society is aquestion of argument whereby some see its relevance and others justsee it as a tool developed to host immigrants who come to seek refugein the new country. For many years, many host countries are known totreat the immigrants as refugees and even for students going topursue their advanced education levels in other countries are givenstudents visas which are enough evidence of their temporary stay inthe new country (Kelly, 2002). Immigrants would not get equaltreatment as the citizens of that country and thus brought about theurge for multiculturalism which treats each person with equity andall get state provided services like vaccinations, education andrelief where required. Also through multiculturalism, there has beenan increase in interactions between all parties which is a positiveresult.

Ourfirst argument is based on the relevance of multiculturalism intoday’s society.

Populationgrowth: has been greatly identified with theincrease in population since the immigrants come in number and theyrepopulate to form a community. Like for instance, Australia wasalmost empty but due to the immigrants into the nation and settlingin there, it has become a world renown multicultural nation whosepeople who were once from a different geographical area but havehelped in its economic growth and also made it a nation which peoplecan tour and explore due its multicultural people which form theessence of people wanting to have a taste of all that magicalintegration between the communities and also how they work togetherwithout conflicting either in ideologies or doctrines (Salter, 2014).

Increasein trade: When people come together into one place the need for newinnovations which will comfortably be accepted by each of the ethniccommunity arises. Because many are the times when people from thedifferent ethnic communities of the world are represented in such asetup, the new innovation will also be accepted by entirely the wholeworld as their own. The resulting outcome is the increase in tradingactivities which bring in foreign exchange to the nation (Stephenson,2011).The revenue collected is meant to help in infrastructuraldevelopments, improved communication and also the competitive abilityof it to other nations. Increase in trade also allows for foreigninvestments into the country making it a productive country and alsoone that can offer aids to other disadvantaged nations.

Tourism:Where there are two or more cultures together interacting with eachother peacefully and also working together to achieve similar goals,tourism is said to exist. Tourism exists because culture isinteresting and each culture has its own uniqueness. Uniqueness infood, dressing, languages, skills and traditions attracts people tosample it (Kelly, 2002). This urge for the experience has made iteasy for multicultural countries attract tourists more thanmonoculture nations because they don’t have much to show to theworld. Also multicultural nations are deemed to be hospitable toothers because they host many people from diversewalks of life without any conflicts arising. This factor allows forstability and general growth and acceptance amongst each other eitheras a native of that country or as an immigrant.

Internationaldiplomacy: The good treatment of a country’s emigrant in anothercountry brings into existence a relationship among the countrieswhereby they create ready markets for each other’s products,reliability to each other to each other in the event of an emergencyor aid, or also help in the general growth and development to homecountry in which they have made an alliance with. Alliances amongcountries ensure that they both benefit and also that none of the twoshall suffer because aid will be offered unto them from the ablenation (Hughes, 1997). These alliances have become the root of growthand development especially for the disadvantaged home countries ofthe immigrants.Alliances also help the disadvantaged country gain access intomarkets where they could not join when solo.

Education: encourages the need for education in order for oneto be able to integrate in one common language hence ease incommunication and also understanding of each other. For example, inall multicultural countries regardless of how many languages areavailable, there is one particular language used by all incommunication and in trading activities. Like an example isAustralia, regardless of the many cultural groups from China,Africa, India, America and Europe, they all speak English which isacceptable among all of them (Theophanous, 1995). This has alsobrought the zeal to compete among each other both in innovationsand inscholarly works. At first this was viewed as a disadvantage becauseit meant the natives look like less productive but with time it wasestablished to actually make the natives proud as the country wasbeing competitive even to the outside world. This is evident mostlywhen students from other parts of the world want to come and study inthat country because it means that they offer quality and advancededucation.

Culturalpractices exchange: As we have earlier discussed that each communityhas its own uniqueness, this unique attribute leads to the imitationor wanted use of some (Kelly, 2002). For example, due to the hugepopulation of Thais in Australia, Thai food is appreciated among manyof the population regardless of whether they are Thai or not.Australians also celebrate national festivities annually like Thaifood festival held at the Thai temple. Games and dances also come upfrom their cohesion leading to emergence of a practice unique to allof them.Cultural exchange also means that there is acceptance of each otherand that no culture is better than the other.

Thenotion of multicultural can thus be deemed relevant as discussedabove mainly due to economic growth and also developments broughtinto the country but arguments against its relevance into the societyhave emerged (Blainey, 1984). These are critics from scholars andalso from politicians and they revolve around the issue of acceptanceof foreigners as one of them. This is a key challenge because itmeans that the immigrants have to be made feel comfortable at theexpense of the native.

Criticsare based on:

XenophobiaThis is a situation whereby the natives become hostile towardsimmigrants of their country leading to their death (Anne- Marie,2012). It arises due to a series of events for example whereby thenatives feel like the immigrants are being given special favors andthat most of the resources are given to them. This can also emerge asa result of the immigrants being given jobs while the most of thenatives are jobless. This frustration by the native to that countrymakes them want to forcefully evict them from their country. As muchas this will ruin the reputation of the nation and also make itunfriendly for visitors but they tend to prefer it that way becauseall favors and job opportunities will be theirs. This is a problemthat is brought about multiculturalism and thus its irrelevance inthe society.Xenophobic countries prefer and really advocate for assimilation sothat they can be treated as one of them and not as a differentseparate community.

Increasedexpenditure: The country is subjected to more expenses brought as aresult of hosting the immigrants. The formulation of new policies toenable their comfortable stay in the country comes as an addedexpense together with the cost of hosting them. Sociology scholarsargue that these avoidable expenses should instead be used in thecountry’s development projects and also be used in the improvementof living standards of its citizens. Some of the capital can also beretained as an emergency kitty in the event of a national catastropheinstead of asking for international help every time a disaster occurs(Benhabib, 2002). Being a host nation also requires them to meet allthe human rights set aside by the global agencies, instead of theirarrival being a national advantage but it is deemed to be a burden.

Emergenceof socially unacceptable practices: every country has some practiceswhich are unacceptable. For example, homosexuality to many is viewedas a disgrace to the society. Other cultures accept it while othersstrongly advocate against it. These differences in thoughts bring toraise different lobby groups fighting against each other which createtension (Stephenson,2011).The tension is itself dangerous because it might become a war and aswe know, war only deteriorate the nations stability and also itseconomy which has a great effect to the citizens as their will beinflation making the cost of living to be very expensive and out ofreach to a huge part of the population.

Politicalrivalry: This has been the major cause of world wars whereby thestruggle for power comes with divisions in ethnicity. Each culturalgroup wants to support their own person and ethnicity arises (Kevin,2011).The majority population tends to win and this make the ethnicminorities feel like they have no chance to lead making them feelinferior and the fight to feel superior is translated into a warwhich is only out of greed for power and not to help in solving thecurrent situations that need to be addressed too.

Economicalstagnancy: Before the immigrants become fully settled and can sustainthemselves without aid, a lot of resources shall be used and beforethey are fully recovered it will mean that there are no economicdevelopments which are a key challenge because this affects the wholepopulation and not a specific group. The whole situation is what thecritics are terming as economic burden. Economists also agree withthese because it has been evidenced in each and every multiculturalnation before fully recovering themselves from the self-inflictedproblem.

Usingboth arguments as to its relevance and to its irrelevance in thesociety, the notion forms a strong controversial argument. Theimpacts are both positive and negative meaning that for a country toembrace multiculturalism it is willing to take all the risksassociated with the move (Levey,2012).Taking upon multiculturalism is something that should be embraced inthe society because it brings about love, peace and harmony amongstall the races.

Otherarguments have been to whether multiculturalism is better thanassimilation into the country without having a basis of differentcultures but differences arise too because assimilation is presumedto make other cultures disappear and only one culture to exist.Assimilation is the forcing of a person to let go of their cultureand practices and embrace the stipulated one.

Assimilation(Salter, 2014) greatly interferes with a person’s true identity andas much as scholars oppose to multiculturalism, it should bereconsidered because it promotes for peace and also for equaltreatment for everyone as no culture is greater than the other butinstead we are all equal all that there is variation in beliefs andpractices.

Referencelist

Anne-Marie,M. (2011). Cultureclash: an international legal perspective on ethnic discrimination.Ashgate publishing. Pp.176

Benhabib,S. (2002). Theclaims of culture: Equality and diversity in the global era.Princeton, Princeton University Press.

Blainey,G. (1984). Allfor Australia. NorthRyde, New south Wales.

Chapman,L. (1980), ‘Themenace of multiculturalism,’ in quadrant,vol. 24, No.10, October, pp. 3-6.

Hughes,L. (1997),“: How far can Australia go?” Journal ofChristian education40. Pp.17-25.

Kelly,P. (2002). reconsidered: culture equality and its critics. Oxford,Oxford University Press.

KevinM. Dunn et al. (2011).IndigenousAustralians’ Attitudes Towards , CulturalDiversity, ‘Race’ and Racism. Journalof Australian Indigenous Issues.

Knopfelmacher,F. (1982), ‘Thecase against multiculturalism’ Melbourne,Oxford University Press. Pp. 40-66

Levey,G. B., &amp Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.(2012).&nbspPoliticaltheory and Australianmulticulturalism.

Mark,L. (2000). Theorigin of multiculturalism in Australian politics1945-1975. Victoria,. Melbourne University Press.

Moran,Anthony. (2011). as nation building in Australia: Inclusive national identity and theembrace of diversity.Ethnic and Racial Studies.University of Melbourne. Routledge.

Salter,F. “Theneed to reform or dismantle multiculturalism”, submission to theinquiry into multiculturalism in Australia.”Parliament of Australia retrieved 9 February 2014.

Sestito,R. (1982), Thepolitics of multiculturalism.The centre for independent studies, Sydney.

Stephenson,Peta. (2011). Indigenous Australia`s Pilgrimage to Islam. Journalof Intercultural Studies.Melbourne: Routledge.

Theophanous,Andrew C. (1995), identity Understandingmulticulturalism and Australian.Elikia Books, Victoria.