This multiculturalism debate is not about culture

by , under All categories, Enrique

Comment: The story below is a good attempt to dissect the “state-multiculturalism-has-failed” affirmation in February by Prime Minister David Cameron. Certainly when a prominent political figure like Cameron or German Chancellor  Angela Merkel claim that multiculturalism has failed, it emboldens those in Finland who believe the same despite our underwhelming immigrant population compared with the latter two countries. 

The problem with such arguments, as the Guardian story correctly highlights, is that they are based on an assumption that the host society is not multicultural.

The Guardian writes: “In all the fevered comment, the assumption seems to be that British culture should be counterposed with other alien cultures, which are problematically separate from, and should be assimilated into, it. Unfortunately for this assumption, it is a truism of anthropology that cultures vary as much within themselves as between each other. Very few are homogenous.”

If multiculturalism has failed, according to Cameron and Merkel, with what do they want to replace it with?

You will never get a comprehensive answer to that question, especially from politicians.


By Peter Guillam

The idea that there is a distinct set of British values is a myth. All cultures are multi-cultures – this debate is being used as a proxy. The debate about multiculturalism is hotting up. It also clearly splits the coalition, as the contrasting speeches of David Cameron and Nick Clegg have shown.

Read whole story.

  1. Hmmm

    Well, the claims of Cameron and Merkel point towards to the speed, volumes and ways that the ”new” cultures have been and are being inducted into the societies. I.e. it is a red herring to cling to individual words in hopes of making it seem that they think that their respective cultures have been homogenous.