The Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiculturalism

12 December 2016

Multiculturalism is where a variety of many different cultural/ethnic groups live together within the same society. In a multicultural society, there is not an official culture that every person must be a part of. Instead, all cultures are respected as much as each other. In general, a multicultural society is formed when people from many different countries all migrate to one place. For example, 10% of the UK’s population consists of different racial groups. Multicultural cities are called cosmopolitans.

If you walk down any bustling London street, it is likely you will come across many people from different cultural backgrounds. For London now speaks over 200 languages and the diversity of different cultures within London is so great that easy definition is impossible. The city is home to over 300 nationalities that have over time moulded and shaped London’s culture to what it is today. Even so, it is not just London that is now considered multicultural; Toronto, Sydney, Miami and New York are also considered among the top five most cosmopolitan cities. However, is it a good thing or a bad thing for a city to be multicultural?

In determining whether being a multicultural society has more advantages or disadvantages, both sides of the argument need to be weighed. Advantages of Multiculturalism Everything we see around us has been influenced in some way by different cultures – our clothes, daily routine, music, food, art, sport and poetry are all as they are because they have been mixed with our knowledge of different cultural features. Through multiculturalism, we have opened our minds and have had the opportunity to learn about many different things: plus the country has benefited from it economically in many ways.

What is more, living in such a society makes people more tolerant of each other, even if they are from very different backgrounds. It has taken a while to get to the point where we are all accepting each other’s cultures and ways of life. Finally, our lives intertwine (cultural diffusion) to create a fascinating hybrid culture to live in. Many cities around the world have benefited massively from immigration and multiculturalism, most famously Toronto. Therefore, what would our country be like if Britain had never accepted diverse cultures into our own country?

Well, it would have a very different fashion industry… Never heard of The Simpsons… or Friends… Fewer sports… No World Cups… No Barbie… No Reggae… No fast food or takeaways… Well I think you get the picture – our lives would be very different, that’s for sure. In addition, the renowned, economically well off and most interesting cities of the world are, coincidentally, always the cosmopolitan cities. I wonder why..! Replacement Labour Force will save the government money as they won’t have to pay immigrants so much and there will be more than enough people looking for work so every job is done.

Plus, the less well off immigrants buy the inner-city slums and regenerate them into areas full of character with lively shops and restaurants and lovely houses: which are then bought back by the ‘better off’; the immigrants then move onto another area or have more money to buy a better house. Multiculturalism really does benefit all… Disadvantages It would be naive to deny that the lives of ethnic minorities aren’t always easy. These people must try to adapt and it’s always hard to change many aspects of their daily life.

Sometimes they are treated as if they were not worth the name of a citizen and they feel like visitors in their hometown. In addition, they might tend to be aggressive. One of the reasons that causes terrorism is indifference in society. This misunderstanding and intolerance to citizens of different nationalities may cause brutal terrorist acts and take the lives of many innocent people. Minority groups can get a lot of attention as they often say they are treated unfairly. This often means that there is positive discrimination against natives to keep the country happy.

Unfortunately, this causes tension between natives and immigrants. British culture will be wiped out in the coming years if the Government continues to pander to all other cultures and abandons its original children. We should be maintaining a balance to preserve our own culture, which has developed over thousands of years. All cultures should accept the British way of life first and build their cultural identity around it. It costs the Britain millions to be multicultural, printing publications in multiple languages, changing signage, employing interpreters in law courts etc.

What ever happened to the saying “When in Rome. ”? Conclusion For me, a multicultural society is one where people from all over the world can live together peacefully, respect, and learn from each other’s ways of life. Many believe that all Britain can ever hope for in the way of multiculturalism is mutual tolerance and not much else. But then again, England has been multicultural since the dawn of time – London is a roman word and the royal family can hardly be called English. I think we still have a long way to go until we are a non-violent, everential, multicultural society – considering all the terrorist bombings, racial shootings, etc. Nevertheless, maybe one day, we could finally produce a peaceful, deferential multicultural country, from which everyone benefits. It doesn’t have to be one extreme or the other. We should all be proud of our cultural background but see it as something we all have in common; having our own cultural backgrounds. People are the same everywhere. If people were less afraid of knowing different cultures, there would be so much more harmony in our society today.

I agree some people from all cultures tend to keep themselves away from mixing with other groups, and that is not beneficial to any society. British ways are not always the best ways; we need to appreciate other cultures because a broadened society makes a better life for all of us. In conclusion, living in a multicultural society has many positive sides, because we can communicate with people who have different cultures and traditions. However, the government should pay attention to national minority’s problems and try to solve them, and then there will be no terrorism and violence in the world.

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