Before answering the question, let’s take a look at how some scholars define the three important modes in which a minority adapts to a new society. In Finland, there is a lot of confusion about what is meant by integration. When politicians speak of integration of immigrants are they referring to assimilation, which is one-way adaption?
So, in effect, when some accuse me of being disrespectful of Finnish society because I want to debate an issue like immigrants/refugees, they most likely favor the assimilation model. Here is a definition by Tariq Modood:
“This [assimilation] is where the processes affecting the relationship between newly settled groups are seen as one-way, and where the desired outcome for society as a whole is seen as involving least changes in the way of doing things for the majority of the country and its institutional policies.”
The other mode is called integration:
“This is where processes of social interaction are seen as two-way, and where members of the majority community as well as immigrants and ethnic minorities are required to do something; so the latter cannot alone be blamed for failing (or not trying) to integrate.”
And finally multiculturalism:
“…multiculturalism assumes a two-way process of integration but, additionally, it is taken to work differently for different groups.”
Thus multiculturalism takes into account different templates of integration. There is no “fits-all-sizes” approach.
Even though Finland accepts diversity (ethnic, sexual, financial etc), which mode of integration takes place and is encouraged: assimilation, integration or multiculturalism – or none of the above?
Taking into account high unemployment among immigrants and our general ignorance of diversity, is it fair to even speak of integration and multiculturalism in this country?