Should states require the assimilation of cultural minority groups?

The word assimilation, in the context of this question, means “the process of becoming similar.”[1] Some argue that the state should not require the assimilation of cultural minority groups whilst others argue otherwise. The main debate central to this question is whether states should follow the assimilation model, as this question presents, or follow the multiculturalism model, which is a model followed by many western nations today. This essay will provide opposing views and come up with a conclusion.

States should require the assimilation of cultural minority groups because many problems may occur, such as unity. If cultural minorities do not assimilate into the countries idea of unity then the populaces will resent them. Moreover, if the “discrete social differences”[2] become more obvious, for example a terrorist attack such as 9/11, then the frequency of racial hates crimes intensifies. An example can be the “300% rise in racial hate crimes in London alone after the 7/7 bombings.”[3] The 7/7 bombings highlights how some cultural minorities have not assimilated into their society and this can cause tension with the populace. During the aftermath of the 7/7 or 9/11 attacks there was obvious “resentment towards this particular (group) which made the social cohesion uneasy and awkward”[4] therefore states should assimilate cultural minorities. However, assimilating cultural minorities leads to a homogenous society where the spirit of multiculturalism becomes less important and this is a problem for Liberals because it diminishes other cultures. Multiculturalism makes people experience different cultures which can open people’s mind which “promotes tolerance and social cohesion”[5] as Liberals will argue.  In addition, the multiculturalism model is “based on tolerance and understanding between differing groups”[6] which leads to a more effective society in which kindness and understanding are the main pillars. Moreover, if a country pursues a multicultural model then a country will preserve its diversity which “creates a high level of social cohesion”[7] which increases the successfulness of a nation thus states should not require the assimilation of cultural minorities.

If a “nation divided amongst several different cultures with no clear feeling of patriotism then the country is in essence socially fractured”[8] this is why states should assimilate cultural minorities. In addition, if cultural minorities assimilate in their host country then this will be beneficial for the state in times of need. Moreover, unity increases cooperation between different cultures and this can make “people feel more at ease with other cultures and accepting of their values.”[9] An example of an assimilation model that has worked is the USA who has the biggest economy and enjoys “relative peace, cohesion and civic engagement among its various groups”[10] which is why states should require cultural minorities to assimilate. However, cultural unity between the various groups and assimilation at the same time is very problematic. One of the reasons is that it is not easy for newly arrived immigrants to instantly drop their past and the culture they were brought up in and assimilate into their country’s new culture. Which is why some argue that, in America, “there never can or will be a single national identity (which everyone) can relate to”[11] and this can be attributed to the advancement of technology. As Brulliard puts it “communications and travel revolutions have enabled immigrants to keep closer ties to their homelands, perhaps creating more transnational identities”[12] thus states should follow a multicultural model as it is impossible.

To conclude, some argue that states should assimilate minorities because it promotes unity and decreases racial attacks. However, some argue that if the state assimilates minorities then society becomes homogenous which means diversity is lost leading to a less effective society. Moreover, others argue that assimilation increases cooperation between people from different backgrounds which makes people feel at ease with others cultures and values. However, others argue that assimilation will be impossible because it will be difficult for minorities to instantly assimilate into a new culture. Overall, I believe that states should not require the assimilation of cultural minorities and should follow the multicultural model because diversity and openness is key to a successful country.

 

Bibliography:

 

[1] (2017) Available at: https://www.google.jo/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=assimilation+meaning

(Accessed: 23 April 2017)

[2] Debate: Multiculturalism vs. assimilation – Debatepedia (2008) Debatepedia.odebate.org. Available at: http://debatepedia.idebate.org/en/index.php/Debate:_Multiculturalism_vs._assimilation (Accessed: 23 April 2017).

[3] ibid

[4] ibid

[5] ibid

[6] ibid

[7] ibid

[8] ibid

[9] ibid

[10] ibid

[11] Salins,P. (1996) Assimilation, American style. 1st ed. New York, NY: Basic Books, pp. 20-27

[12] Brulliard, K. (2007) At odds Over Immigrant Assimilation, Washingtonpost.com. Available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/06/AR2007080601581.html (Accessed: 11 April 2017)

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