Show Notes & Research
From the Show
Broadcast: 6th August, 2017
Last update: 11th August, 2017
Published: 11th August, 2017
- Read the feedback, notes from the last show
- Begin recording
- Introduction and description of the podcast, goals, modus operandi.
- What An investigation of everything from a British perspective by two brothers (who consider themselves to be relatively normal chaps), one topic at a time.
- Who Geoffrey Campos (engineer and devil’s advocate),
Benjamin de-Campos (designer and believer).
- How Choose a topic of interest, spend a little time researching it, have a discussion then publish the notes - which are available on the site to read along!
- Why The main benefits are the fostering of a greater understanding of the world before we die and hopefully, to prompt further thought and discussion from our listeners.
- The topic we will be discussing in this episode is Multiculturalism
‘If there were only one religion in England there would be danger of despotism, if there were two, they would cut each other's throats, but there are thirty, and they live in peace and happiness’. So said the writer, philosopher and all round clever clogs Voltaire (as he liked to call himself) during the European ‘Enlightenment’ period. Multiculturalism as a strategy is largely a European invention designed to produce an all inclusive bazaar of human difference housed in the internally borderless EU superstate. Create a suitably non-interventionist, non-religious, socialist-leaning liberal progressive democratic framework and you will appeal to the all those who live in countries that don’t share these sets of principles. In the case of European countries, add a generous welfare system, a commitment to aiding those fleeing war or persecution and a large scoop of the ‘guilt of empire’ and you get a virtual mania of xenophilia. Is it to be ‘united in difference’ or ‘competition for the dominant culture’?
What we’re not talking about
Each bullet is a talking point. Sub-bullets are topics that may or may not be covered. Usage: Read the bullet and sub-bullets then talk about some or all sub-bullets.
- What does culture and society mean?
- How plastic are the definitions, have they changed over time?
- ‘British values’ according to Ofsted: ‘democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.’. - Citizenship Foundation
- In different parts of the world
- The difference between the UK and the US for example.
- The British example. What’s been happening in the UK, Geoff?
- The American example: Every group that (willingly) came to US after the original settlers were ostracized to some degree or another. Germans, Irish, Eastern Europeans etc. These days, their harking back to their forefathers cultures and traditions is nostalgic and a bit of fun. They are for the most part, Americans.
- The absolute refusal of many countries to threaten cultural and ethnic (racial?) homogeneity (Saudi Arabia, Korea, Japan, China, Latvia etc.)
- Why do politicians almost universally want it?
- ‘Diversity is our strength’
- Mosaic not melting pot or rather salad bowl (the only other phrase I’ve heard)
- Culture equivalency - are some cultures better than others?
- Toleration of intolerance, difference
- Individual versus group identity
- Inevitable bias towards one’s own culture
- Common language or means of communication, technology?
- Is it only a Western phenomenon?
- National identity - can one be a compatibilist between culture and nationhood?
- Cultural migration - changing one’s cultural identity - is it even possible?
- Justified and unjustified
- Voicing those concerns
- Inverted culture shock
- Fear that we’re ‘Sleepwalking towards armageddon’
- Bias towards minorities
- Cultural vocabulary exhaustion
- There will always be a minority
- Civil war along ethno-religious lines
- Disintegration of the culture of the host nation
- Never knowingly insulting myriad cultures
- Multiculturalism is a euphemism for ‘the browning of the West’
- Is it a spectrum? What are the limits?
- Artificially levelling the playing field
- Chinatown syndrome
- Multiculturalism is the opposite of unity
- Koreans eat dogs, Muslims insist on Halal meat, Chinese do not queue, Mexicans stand too close - how much cultural accommodation should be tolerated or is possible?
- Western guilt, self flagellation
- I see this as a big one and almost certainly something that gives a blind eye to the ugliest of humanity particularly as here in the successful and comfortable west, we know that racism, homophobia, sexism, being violent is antithetical to building a great society.
- Setting a low bar of expectation
- “the soft bigotry of low expectations” George W Bush, War Criminal
- Multicultural integration
- Cultural detachment, the Zoo effect
- Turning a blind eye to recognised cultural deficiencies, ailments etc.
- Muslim Council of Britain
- Al-Quds Day march in London
Terminology specific to the topic
- Assimilation to absorb into the cultural tradition of a population or group
… the belief that tolerant hosts would be able to assimilate immigrants of whatever creed or colour. — Brian Holmes (Merriam Webster)
- Biculturalism A policy recognizing, fostering or encouraging biculturalism typically emerges in countries that have emerged from a history of national or ethnic conflict in which neither side has gained complete victory. Wikipedia.
- Culture The way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time. Cambridge Dictionary
- Diversity Difference, variation. In context, people from different nationalities or ethnic backgrounds living in the same society.
- Ethnic Originally from ethnicus meaning ‘heathen’. Until recently, an ‘ethnic person’ was someone living in a majority Christian (or Jewish) society who did not originate from a similar society. Today, it means nationality or place of origin.
- Integration Culture also appears to play a role in socio-cultural integration, as both the North African migrant groups studied, Moroccans and Egyptians, demonstrated higher levels of integration than those from Senegal and Ghana. Female gender is also a significant predictor of socio-cultural integration, with the female migrants surveyed being more integrated than their male counterparts. Though it is often assumed that female migrants, especially those from more traditional, patriarchal societies, tend toward the private sphere and presumably have fewer opportunities for integration, these data suggest the opposite. population-europe.eu
- Learned knowledge Culture is learned, not biologically inherited. The Cultural Experience: Ethnography in Complex Society, Second Edition
- Migration Human migration is the movement by people from one place to another with the intentions of settling, permanently in the new location. Wikipedia.
- Minority A racial, ethnic, religious, or social subdivision of a society that is subordinate to the dominant group in political, financial, or social power without regard to the size of these groups. Dictionary.com
- Separatism When the people of a region feel alienated from central government, they often seek to gain more political control. Such groups may have a different language or culture or religion from the rest of the state and are often geographically peripheral. They feel remote from centralised government and feel that they do not receive adequate support, particularly with economic development.
- Society A society is a group of people involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Wikipedia.
- Values Human values are the principles, standards, convictions and beliefs that people adopt as their guidelines in daily activities. Principal human values are the foundation on which professional ethics are built. They are a set of consistent measures and behaviors that individuals choose to practice in the pursuit of doing what is right or what is expected of them by society. Most laws and legislation are shaped by human values. Reference.com.
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- Recording ends, postmortem recording begins
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From the Show
Notes, corrections and further references
Zoomable map of diversity in London
That Voltaire quotation in full
‘Multiculturalism basically means that no culture is perfect or represents the best life and that it can therefore benefit from a critical dialogue with other cultures. In this sense multiculturalism requires that all cultures should be open, self-critical, and interactive in their relations with other each other.’ - Lord Parekh, professor of political philosophy
Chair of the 2000 report, 'The Future of Multi-ethnic Britain'
Guidance on promoting British values in schools - Department for Education Press release, 2014.