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is multi-culturalism dead?

(243 Posts)
yingers74 Mon 01-Aug-05 23:05:28

Am not any good at doing links but won't try. Have read a lot of articles including the original (before the bombs) by Trevor Philips(I think, could be wrong) who thought the multi-cultural model had failed. What do people think?

monkeytrousers Tue 02-Aug-05 10:21:25

The attempt to pin it down into words has failed. Academics will just have to fight it out and re 'textualize' it!

As far as real multi-culturalism, just look outside!

yingers74 Tue 02-Aug-05 10:43:06

what i was wondering about was whether multi-culturism has gone too far hence many people don't feel british and therefore isolated. I am 30 and along with many of my peers we are happy to describe ourselves as british chinese, black, indian, greek etc etc. Yet a lot of younger people have a bigger problem with this description and also perhaps with a sense of belonging to this country. Although I don't advocate strapping multiculturism, I do think there needs to be more of an emphasis on being british, our children need to know that no matter where they come from, this country embraces them as their own first and foremost.

monkeytrousers Tue 02-Aug-05 11:04:16

I don't really know what 'being British' means. It's just an accident of birth, which I'm grateful for as it allows me some privileges but which I'm not particularly proud of. The riches of Western nations were founded on the most terrible brutality and subjection of other nations.

PeachyClair Tue 02-Aug-05 11:15:53

My Dh is in an interesting situation on this one: his dad was abandoned as a Toddler, they know his Mother's details but only that his Father was a soldier from another Country. FIL never questioned his acial identity, but genes skip and DH is quite dark (esp. in Summer), black hair, very mediterranean / Asian appearance. Does he care where he comes from? Nope. He is 'Human' (quote) I love that attitude in him!

monkeytrousers Tue 02-Aug-05 12:01:08

Quite, Peachy!

yingers74 Tue 02-Aug-05 16:13:34

monkeytrousers - if you delve into the history of all nations, brutality and the subjection of other nations is rife, no country no matter what they claim is innocent of that charge. The rise and fall of empires!

And not knowing what being british means is precisely the problem, how can people feel they belong? I think for many the need to belong is very important.

Peachy - I wish everyone would think like that.

starrynight Tue 02-Aug-05 17:08:33

What about Tibet?

starrynight Tue 02-Aug-05 17:08:48

Sorry, wasn't being flippant - just wondering.

monkeytrousers Tue 02-Aug-05 18:52:20

Your right. It's a toughy.

PeachyClair Tue 02-Aug-05 19:48:27

The pint isn't to have the answers but to ask the questions, right?

Caribbeanqueen Tue 02-Aug-05 19:52:04

monkeytrousers, I don't agree that being British is an accident of birth. I was born in another (European) country but consider myself as British as someone born here because I was brought up here. In fact I left the country of my birth when I was 1. I have all the British references and cultural references I would have had if I had been born here.

paolosgirl Tue 02-Aug-05 19:56:19

There is also the question of British often (incorrectly) being used to mean English. Talk to a lot of Scots, Welsh and N. Irish, and British may not be quite so relevant as being Scottish or whatever.

yingers74 Tue 02-Aug-05 21:27:33

starrynight - no idea about Tibet although am sure they have some skeletons in their history too.

Do u think it would be a good idea to have a british week? I think it would be nice for schools to celebrate an event that is for all kids.

I do think that sometimes although we live in a multi-cultural society, we don't always integrate with each other so well, perhaps this is because we concentrate too much on our differences(positively and negatively) rather than our many similarities.

monkeytrousers Wed 03-Aug-05 14:12:51

I meant more 'western' rather than British specifically, Caribbeanqueen. Just that those born in a privileged land have no more right to those privileges then those born in poorer societies. It's just 'luck' and it's arbitrary, IYSWIM.

PeachyClair Wed 03-Aug-05 19:28:47

We have evenings celebrating various aspects of British culture at Rainbows- like we did a British food night for St George's day, and we did a WW2 theme recently where we looked at life for the kids in the UK during the war. We also celebrate other Cultural aspects too, like we did a Buddhist festival and an Indian Evening. I do agree that we need to have some comcept of UK culture, simply because I think the sheer value of multiculturalism is to bring ALL cultures together to learn and share from. In recognising the rich and wonderful contribution of other Countries, we can and should also recognise the contribution made by the UK.

edam Wed 03-Aug-05 19:46:21

Nice post PC. The French attitude to multiculturalism is: 'You are French first. What you get up to in your private life is up to you, but in public, you are French.' Hence no headscarves - or crucifixes - in schools. Maybe our attitude has been too focused on diversity, and not on common values?

monkeytrousers Wed 03-Aug-05 20:13:07

Maybe...and we're a cynical bunch aren't we, us Brits?

PeachyClair Wed 03-Aug-05 21:09:24

I wouldn't necessarily agree with the no headscarves etc rule though- I think we should CELEBRATE and welcome all cultural diversity, rhater than eradicate it.

Caligula Wed 03-Aug-05 21:18:57

But we don't welcome and celebrate all cultural diversity, do we? We don't welcome clitorodectomies, we don't welcome loonies who cut up their kids because they're witches, we don't welcome tiresome old gits outside Regent's Park Mosque who shout abuse at women walking past because they've got sleeveless blouses on in the heat, or who burn books they haven't read. I remember years ago there were demos outside I think it may have been Harringey Town Hall - or perhaps Brent? Or perhaps neither and I'm having a false memory syndrome attack - but anyway, it was a town hall in the UK - because a couple of councillors were supporting the right of parents to have their daughter's clitorae cut off, the argument being that we shouldn't impose our Eurocentric morality on them. I'm happy to say that that was given short shrift, but the issue showed the problem with the idea of celebrating diversity - we only celebrate it within certain criteria which we find acceptable.

yingers74 Wed 03-Aug-05 23:38:19

agree with you on that, although we often say live and let live, we don't really mean that, we mean live and let live as long as it is acceptable within our own society's standards, norms and morals.

moondog Wed 03-Aug-05 23:42:16

Caligula..succinct as ever.

Caligula Wed 03-Aug-05 23:45:58

Evening Moondog!

moondog Wed 03-Aug-05 23:48:45

Bon Soir!
(Trying to stay out of these as I just get riled. Especially as I note that after reams of seemingly rational comments,Peace Dove has come out in favour of Sharia Law )

(And before people go nuts,accusing me of being a BNP hanger on,I am a happy Guardian reading member of a multi cultural family. Couldn't get more 'aware' than me. No sirreeeeeeeee.)

Caligula Wed 03-Aug-05 23:49:46

Ooh, missed that! Which thread?

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