Multiculturalism is the pluralism of society that recognises distinct groups in a diverse population without denotation of superiority or inferiority of any group or groups based on their differences. Multiculturalism has existed in society for a long time, and its popular era of history extends from as far back as the 1940’s to the present modern society. This history has been attributed to large scale population movements resulting from war, conquests, refugee influx, and migration worldwide of various groups of people. Modern society having found multiculturalism in existence has no choice but to live with it either in support or in opposition. Controversy around this ideology is continuous with proponents arguing that multiculturalism provides important opportunities for society while opponents argue that multiculturalism challenges modern society. As a challenge to modern society, multiculturalism puts to question the risk of dislocating individuals from the cultural hybridity that is the modern society. Modern societies have integrated so extensively that they influence each other more than ever before (Kymlicka, 2012). Trade and economics, religion and politics, technology and migration and many more have turned modern society into a ‘global village.’ Meaningful options come from each of the cultures and groups that integrate thus resulting in adaptability to changing circumstances. Multiculturalism and its emphasis on heterogeneity challenges modern society by putting individual cultures and groups at risk of not adapting to the present state of overlapping cultures. The challenge for modern societies that adopt a multicultural perspective comes from knowing how to come to a balance between preservation of diverse cultures and encouraging homogeneity to eliminate one group’s shortcomings and replace them with another group’s strengths so as to create a purer version of cultures. Modern societies and states find a challenge in multiculturalism as it tests individual rights in favour for group rights. Modern societies and states are obligated to uphold individual rights whether individuals are in a group or otherwise. Within the contexts of multiculturalism, internal discriminations among group members say of one particular culture are given the neglect approach that undermines individual rights (Ericksen, 1997). While modern societies attempt to give room for multiculturalism, they are challenged over how to pursue protection of individual rights in a situation that the group rights are encouraged as well. For instance in heterogeneous societies where misguided values of illiteracy and forced marriages exist, members are left to suffer since multicultural states are afraid to offer protection against the same heterogeneity that is supported. Does multiculturalism characterize respect for diversity? Many modern multiculturalist societies faced the challenge of being criticized for their flawed systems of cultural heterogeneity. An example, present day Germany welcomes all inclusive multiculturalist policies but despite having generations of Italians, Greek, Spanish, and Turkish immigrants born of the first generation workers who came to Germany after the WWII, its policies deny
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Name Instructor Course Date Multiculturalism Challenges Modern Societies But Also Provides Important Opportunities The term multiculturalism cannot be defined in a fixed way as its understanding and existence in modern society is constantly evolving. The definition of multiculturalism is commonly done on a contextual basis from social, philosophical, demographic, and public policy contexts among others (Knight, 2008)…
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