Does Nationalism Contribute Negatively to Multiculturalism According to Literature?

Jun 7, 2018
folder_opencategory: Literature

What is Nationalism? Generally, nationalism incorporates two major attributes of a person’s originality. It can be referred to as the attitude and beliefs which members of a nation use to recognize their national identity. It can be likened to the loyalty of the person towards his or her nation. Similarly, nationalism also refers to particular actions that a nation’s members may take, in order to portray determination.

However, it can also be viewed as a form of doctrine, which portrays national interests and culture as superior to any other nation. As such, a nation should act independently in all attempts to achieve its objectives and goals. Independency can be drawn from the fact that every nation has its unique characteristics in terms of ethnicity, culture and language. Such factors grant it the right to formulate an independent political family with a common history and identity (Mastin, 2008).

Every person in the world belongs to one of the world’s countries, either through just living or being a native of one. Naturally, people feel proud to be members of a certain country through love that they have for it. For instance, most Americans feel proud to belong to USA because their country is usually viewed as the world’s superpower.

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Similarly, Spaniards are proud of their country because it is considered the world’s best soccer nation. It is just a general feeling through which a person recognizes his or her national identity. Therefore, nationalism can be distinguished as a belief, political theory and creed that involve a person, identifying with the nation he or she belongs to.

Further, nationalism can be described through two major perspectives, modernist and ancient conceptions. The ancient perspective outlines it as the evolutionary trend that involved ethnic grouping of people. On the other hand, the modern perspective describes nationalism as a procedural process through which modern societies come into existence.

Types of Nationalism

There are several types of nationalism, including civic nationalism, ethnic nationalism, facism, and national purity. In addition, there are also other minor branches of nationalism, left-wing nationalism and right-wing nationalism. All these types of nationalism have unique characteristics, which are used to identify a person’s originality.

For instance, civic nationalism involves tolerance, freedom, liberalism, individual rights, and equality. In this type of nationalism the nation improvises a constitutional legitimacy through active participation of the citizens. It is usually characterized with the traditions, liberalism and rationalism.

Contrary to people’s expectations, ethnic nationalism does not portray superiority to other nations. Instead, it involves the assimilation of other ethnic groups into one large ethnic community. Ethnic nationalism highly contrasts the constitution of a civic type of nationalism. Unlike a civil nationalism, ethnic nationalism only incorporates the influences of a specific ethnic community.

In fascism nationalism, people are united through a common national identity, culture, and ancestry, among other factors. This type of nationalism does not incorporate foreign cultural practices because they are viewed as degeneration of the national unity. Arguably, this type of nationalism is only witnessed in few parts of the world.

Many people have always claimed that national purity is a bias type of nationalism. This is because it despises minority groups, which are not seen as part of the national community. It only recognizes national culture, community, ethnic, historic, religious, and linguistic terms.

On a minor scale, left-wing nationalism is only recognized through Marxist culture. It is often viewed as a constitution of a particular political regime of the state. On the other hand, right-wing nationalism is recognized as the state’s national party (Weiss, 2012).

What is Multiculturalism?

Generally, multiculturalism relates to communities that contain several cultures in one particular region. Usually, it creates a forum, where different cultures can co-exist with one another. However, multiculturalism should not be confused with assimilation of different cultures. While assimilation means merging of different cultures to form one common culture, multiculturalism is simply related to mutual existence of different cultures, without necessarily merging.

Multiculturalism can be viewed in two broad ways, descriptive and descriptive perspectives. Normatively, it includes the various policies and ideologies that contribute to cultural diversity, including advocacy of equality and maintenance of cultural diversity. On the other hand, the descriptive perspective outlines the simple demographic structure of a specific place.

It is worth noting that multiculturalism varies from one region to another such as countries. This is because different countries have unique structures and cultural diversities. For instance, Australia is always considered as one of the world’s multicultural societies.

Multiculturalism is a public policy that the Australian government wishes to respond to all challenges brought about by cultural diversity. Similarly, it is also used to manage different consequences of cultural diversity, in line with the collective interests of the society members.

In conjunction with the regulations of the Commonwealth Community, the Australian government has identified three criteria of managing the multicultural policy. First, the government uses the cultural identity, which gives the Austrians every right to share their respective cultural heritage with one another.

Second, the government exercises social justice to all Austrians. As such, every citizen has the right to equality of opportunity and treatment. This criterion also plays an integral role in eliminating all social ills such as ethnicity, racism, and gender imbalance, among other factors.

Finally, the government has established efficient economic policies, in order to efficiently manage all economic activities of the citizens. This policy aims at enhancing the need for effective utilizing of all Austrians’ skills and talents.

All the aforementioned dimensions are always outlined in eight sub-groups of the National Agenda. They are applied to all Australians in equal dimensions, regardless of their originality. However, there are also certain regulations which the government uses to direct the Australian multiculturalism. The multicultural policies are based on the fact that all citizens must be law abiding and entirely committed to Australia. Similarly, the policies demand that all citizens must embrace the main principles and structures of the Australian society. Finally, the multicultural policies impose respective obligations to all Australians.

For instance, every Australian has right to express his or her cultural values, but should readily accept other people’s cultural values. A close examination of the above rights and policies reveals that Australia is an ideal multicultural nation. Specifically, the policies aimed at realizing an improved nation that outlays high values of economic advancement and social justice.

How is Multiculturalism Implemented?

There is no specific criterion for implementing multiculturalism because it is a dynamic discipline that incorporates various factors. However, it can be seen through the government’s intervention in the majority of the national errands. For instance, a government that encourages dual citizenship is a truly a multicultural nation. The implementation is also realized through the arrangement of special programs that ensures the minority representation in major public events.

Similarly, multiculturalism is also portrayed through the government’s support for radio, television and newspaper publication in nation’s minority ethnic languages. This also includes support for minor holidays, festivals, and national celebrations. In addition, the nation should be ready to accept religious and traditional dresses in public schools, society, and military in an attempt to support cultures and arts from various parts of the world (Frost 49).

Advantages of Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism is a crucial tool that would greatly benefit many worlds’ societies. For instance, it can create cultural awareness in a workplace. This would occur from interactions that expose employees to new opinions and ideas from other employees of different cultures.

Essentially, a company with diverse cultural structures boasts a large workforce that is characterized with the great social network. This expands the customer base of the company since more interests are generated from several ethnic groups within the society. In addition, the relationship between employees is also improved, since they learn to tolerate other people’s cultures.

The interaction between different cultures is a great source of general knowledge. It leads to incorporation of new ideas and opinions that can be used in problem-solving. The people also learn to respect and appreciate other cultures, in a manner that would promote peaceful co-existence.

Disadvantages of Multiculturalism

Often people believe that multiculturalism can lead to degeneration and destruction of other cultures through interaction (Bianca 204). Excessive interaction can also lead to cultural assimilation, which further leads to adoption of bad cultures. Similarly, minority cultures are likely to diffuse into the superior ones such that they do not exist.

Multiculturalism is a major forum for inter-communal clashes, which create grudges and hatred among different cultures. Some of such clashes can often turn to wars that lead to mass destruction of property. In such cases, the minor cultures fall victims to superior cultures, which take advantage of such cases to gain favor.

Multiculturalism also contributes to major social vices among different cultures. These include tribalism, ethnicity, religious scandals, political attacks, rivalry, domestic clashes, and racism, among others. These problems have always hindered advancements and peaceful co-existence between different cultures.

Therefore, while multiculturalism may be seen as a binding factor among cultures, it can also lead to protest. Generally, there are many merits than demerits of multiculturalism. This is because it has united many cultures than it has created problems.

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Nationalism versus Multiculturalism

The relationship between nationalism and multiculturalism is drawn from the fact that multiculturalism usually dictates how the nation’s political structure responds to religious and cultural diversities. While nationalism is a more general perspective that only deals with a person’s national identity, multiculturalism is a more specific discipline. It specializes in the ethnic structure of a nation and their co-existence.

Nationalism is majorly concerned with the specific nation that a person may belong to. This highlights its business in revealing the finer details, such as ethnicity and the cultural background of a person. These are also crucial factors that should be considered when determining the originality of an individual.

Every person must belong to a certain cultural background, a fact that nationalism ignores. However, multiculturalism embraces this factor by highlighting the importance of the existence of different cultures within a common region. In this respect, nationalism appears to be more abstract than multiculturalism. Actually, nationalism seems to be just an opinion that exists within the natives of a given country. While it reckons the fact that an individual should belong to a given country, it totally fails to dwell on foreigners.

On the contrary, multiculturalism outlines that even foreigners have a right to belong to that country. This is because different cultures can co-exist within a common region such, a community, society or nation. This also shows the diversity of multiculturalism since it handles more principles than nationalism.

Many people can argue that multiculturalism actually gives the actual person’s identity than nationalism would give. If a country is made up of many ethnic groups, then it would be practical to consider the multicultural structure in an attempt to establish a person’s identity. Essentially, multiculturalism promotes peaceful existence and mutual understanding between different cultures. Nationalism would play an integral role in creating national relations between different countries. However, this would only materialize if there was peaceful co-existence within different cultures of a particular nation. There are also certain similarities between multiculturalism and nationalism. For instance, both of them deal with an individual’s identification within a particular region. Similarly, both nationalism and multiculturalism tend to promote social cohesion between different groups of people. Just like nationalism, multiculturalism can also deal with the existence of individuals in an entire nation.

Both of them are centered on the religious, political, and cultural structures of the people involved. They are both implemented through the philosophical structures of the aforementioned perspectives. Just like multiculturalism uses the cultural structure of a society, nationalism also borrows from the national culture to identify a person’s identification.

Does Nationalism affect Multiculturalism Negatively?

Nationalism affects multiculturalism in a number of ways, both constructively and negatively. For instance, the contemporary concerns about multiculturalism point out the fact that there is increased rate immigration. As such, nationalism affects multiculturalism in a negative way. This is because the immigrants vacate the foreign countries in attempt to find their original nations. However, such movements often turn out to be fruitless, since immigrants fail to locate their original nations.

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