Multiculturalism advocates a society that extends equitable status to distinct ethnic and religious groups. Multicultural movement first emerged in Canada and Australia. Multicultural movement lacks a clear focus and identity. Multiculturalism is desirable though the idea is controversial. Multiculturalism refers to the acceptance of various cultural divisions for the sake of diversity that applies to the demographic make-up of a specific place. Many countries are recognizing multiculturalism and are allowing members of distinct groups within that society to celebrate and maintain their different cultures or cultural identities. Multiculturalism is generally associated with identity politics.
Heads-of-government have expressed doubts about the success of multicultural policies: David Cameron, Angela Merkel, John Howard, Jose Maria Aznar and Nicolas Sarkozy have voiced concerns about the effectiveness of their multicultural policies for integrating immigrants. Multiculturalism is seen by its supporters as a system that allows people to truly express who they are within a society, that is more tolerant and that adapts better to social issues. Support for modern multiculturalism stems from the changes in Western societies after World War II, in what Susanne Wessendorf calls the human rights revolution. Multiculturalism restores a sense of wholeness in a postmodern era that fragments human life and thought. A 2015 study in the American Journal of Sociology challenged past research showing that racial diversity adversely affected trust. Early sociologists such as Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, George Santayana, Horace Kallen, Du Bois and Alain Locke developed concepts of cultural pluralism, from which emerged what we understand today as multiculturalism. James saw pluralism as "crucial to the formation of philosophical and social humanism to help build a better, more egalitarian society.
Debates over multiculturalism center around whether or not multiculturalism is the appropriate way to deal with diversity and immigrant integration. Multiculturalism and Diversity focuses on the ways in which history and identity inform each other.
Multiculturalism and Diversity: A Social
Psychological Perspective (Contemporary Social Issues) by Bernice Lott.
The author makes a case that every individual is multicultural. Written in an engaging and accessible manner, this book is suitable for any course on multiculturalism and diversity. Multiculturalism and Diversity are two words that capture the essence of our contemporary social worlds. Lotts comprehensive and compelling thesis represents a significant advance in our efforts to understand the evolving nature of self in multicultural societies. The basic proposition that each of us is a unique multicultural human being and that culture affects individual self-definition, experience, behavior, and social interaction. Multiculturalism and Diversity uses a critical approach to the study of culture and personal identity that is informed by historical and social factors and an appreciation of their interaction. It examines the various cultural threads within the mosaic of a person's multicultural self such as sexual identity, gender, social class, and ethnicity.
According to the 1961 Census of India, there are 1652 indigenous languages in the country. India's languages, religions, dance, music, architecture and customs differ from place to place within the country. The culture of India is an amalgamation of diverse subculture. The Indian caste system describes the social stratification and social restrictions in the Indian subcontinent, in which social class is defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups. The two main language families in India are Indo-Aryan and Dravidian. Hindi is the official federal language, and English has the federal status of associate official language and each state has its own state official language. Most states differ from one another in language, culture, cuisine, clothing, music and festivities.
The Canadian government has often been described as the instigator of multicultural ideology because of its public emphasis on the social importance of immigration. Multiculturalism as an official national policy started in Canada in 1971. Canadian society is often depicted as being "very progressive, diverse, and multicultural". Multiculturalism was adopted as the official policy of the Canadian government during the premiership of Pierre Elliott Trudeau in the 1970s and 1980s. Multiculturalism is reflected in the law through the Canadian Multiculturalism Act and section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Broadcasting Act of 1991 asserts the Canadian broadcasting system should reflect the diversity of cultures in the country. Canadian multiculturalism is looked upon with admiration outside the country, resulting in the Canadian public dismissing most critics of the concept. Multiculturalism in Canada is often looked at as one of Canada's significant accomplishments, and a key distinguishing element of Canadian identity. Aga Khan of the Ismaili Muslims described Canada as "the most successful pluralist society on the face of our globe", citing it as "a model for the world". Aga Khan explained that the experience of Canadian governance—its commitment to pluralism and its support for the rich multicultural diversity of its people is something that must be shared and would be of benefit to all societies in other parts of the world. The Economist argued that Canada's multiculturalism was a source of strength that united the diverse population and by attracting immigrants from around the world was also an engine of economic growth as well.
Little Italy in New York City abuts Manhattan's Chinatown. In the United States, multiculturalism is not clearly established in policy at the federal level, but ethnic diversity is common. Continuous mass immigration was a feature of the United States economy and society since the first half of the 19th century.The melting pot theory implied that each individual immigrant, and each group of immigrants, assimilated into American society at their own pace.