Multiculturalism vs. Integration

Last updated: June 29, 2016

Should societies integrate their immigrants into one, national life-style? Or should they instead embrace all the different cultures represented in the country?

Multiculturalism vs. Integration
Yes because...

Multiculturalism is clearly better; how can you expect people to give up their heritage? Immigrants ...

Multiculturalism is clearly better; how can you expect people to give up their heritage? Immigrants do not leave a country to leave all their cultural identity behind, they generally leave so that they can access the better quality of life afforded in other countries.
No because...
If you decide that you want to live in a country you have to abide by its rules. More than that, you have to respect its traditions. To be accepted as a full citizen of that country it isn’t unreasonable to expect that you will have to conform to certain norms.

Multiculturalism vs. Integration
Yes because...

Being asked to abide by laws is one thing, but conforming “to certain norms” sounds insidious. Many ...

Being asked to abide by laws is one thing, but conforming “to certain norms” sounds insidious. Many ways of living are equally valid, even if they are not regarded as “normal” by some people. If a society claims to be tolerant of personal choice, then it must respect the personal choice to retain their heritage. Anything less smacks of social engineering.
No because...
What some people call social engineering, integrationists call ensuring that society is as harmonious and conflict-free as possible. The race riots of 2001 in the north of the United Kingdom show that such levels of diversity cannot be sustained at the margins of society. If difference breeds contempt then the least difference the better.

Multiculturalism vs. Integration
Yes because...

Clinging to an idea of monolithic, national identity is anachronistic. The nation-state model for so...

Clinging to an idea of monolithic, national identity is anachronistic. The nation-state model for society is crumbling, and is being out-stripped by trans-national models, such as the European Union. As a result, there is less emphasis on fetishising the predominant characteristics in an area and putting them in a pedestal to be called a “national identity.” Such exclusive nationalism is destructive, and history shows it to be so.
No because...
We reject the demise of the nation-state totally. It is still the primary mode of international business and national identity. The United States can be admired for the way it has absorbed millions of immigrants and yet maintained a unique, undeniably American identity. American school children pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and the values that entails. This is a sound model of nation building.

Multiculturalism vs. Integration
Yes because...

America can hardly be cited as an example of racial harmony. The perpetuation of a “national” identi...

America can hardly be cited as an example of racial harmony. The perpetuation of a “national” identity inevitably leads to the alienation of those, who through religious or other reasons, chose not to conform. If the “normal” or “national” identity does not include turban or head-dress or robe wearing, then those who do wear these things are excluded from the mainstream identity. This conjures up the dichotomy of the “other” and leaves people prone to ignorant attack.
No because...
There is a middle point between denying anyone the right to practise their religion openly and denying any sort of national identity or conformity. We think that a shared sense of belonging is vital for any nation to cohere. We want everyone to cheer on the same cricket time; that is a vital precursor to allegiance in times of war.

Multiculturalism vs. Integration
Yes because...

We should embrace the fact that people can support both Pakistan and England, or India and Scotland ...

We should embrace the fact that people can support both Pakistan and England, or India and Scotland or whatever. It shows that we have moved beyond this divisive national stereotyping that causes the wars for which you think you need national cohesion. The more tolerance of difference and embrace of other cultures advances the less conflict there will be.
No because...
This is naïve and presumes, arrogantly, that we have moved beyond the point where we are at risk from enemies. As the rise in extremism, and its support from our own citizens show, we have been too liberal and too soft. We have forgotten why nationhood is important and why we all need to feel a communal belonging and affinity with the basic values of our society.


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