Multiculturalism Policy That Emerged In Britain Sociology Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Multiculturalism is a policy that emerged in Britain to allow recognition of ethnic diversity since it provides framework that policy makers may use to identify the various forms of ethnic diversity so as to encourage respect for various cultures and among individuals. However, multiculturalism policies have been criticized for failing to solve inequalities of resources and power among the minority and the majority populations. The weakness of multiculturalism policies made the minority communities to rise against it which eventually ushered in anti racist strategies in early 1980 as an alternative to inefficient multiculturalism. [1] 

Research point out that anti- racism served as a model of identifying conflicts of interests and addressing the process of inequality in multi ethnic Britain was not acceptable widely. It led to development of insights arising from institutional racism that informed the race relations act of 1976. Anti racism therefore served as a challenge to members of white community that were very comfortable with Britain's tolerant multiculturalism policies. This challenge attracted the minority ethnic groups and majority groups that saw debates taking place in government and political circles. [2] 

Although many people view racism on the basis of one race being superior to the other, it should be pointed out that it is beyond such perspectives thus racism may be viewed on the basis of one's destiny being determined by one's race. Although multiculturalism policies alleges that their aim is eliminate racism and create consensus between the different types of race many people have strongly opposed this because there is no one people can be taught that their identity is determined by skin color then expect that they will remain colorblind. This is a clear show of espousing multiculturalism that cannot make people look at each other as human beings.1

Multiculturalism and its advocates in Britain are said to be true racist by the virtue of the fact that they look at the world and see it through colored lenses that is characterized by gender and race. Therefore it can be argued that multiculturalism has promoted racism in Britain thereby making the majority whites not to treat the minority communities' fellow individuals. Similarly multiculturalism policies are quite different from anti racism aims because their focus is on racial difference which strategize at making some people to worship other race hence promoting racial identity instead of addressing it. It should be noted that if it's exactly true that racial identity determines individuals thinking method and values then cooperation between individuals of different race would not have been possible [] .

The years between 1950 and 1955 saw many groups of people such as Indian, west Indians and Pakistan migrating into Britain after the British nationality act of 1948 granted fair immigration rights to individuals from commonwealth nations. After sometime these groups of people became an issue of considerable debate by the government thereby considering putting into place strategies to control the overflow of citizens from commonwealth countries to Britain. As a result British way of life began to change which made Britain to be called as a multicultural community. The government became largely concerned with the high number of immigrants and how they will be assimilated into the host community this therefore increased racial tension which by late 1950 the incoming groups were exposed to racist attack that forced the government to begin campaign of introducing measures to control high rates of immigration. Government strategy served as an act of discrimination. [] 

The notion of multiculturalism in Britain is said to be a very great threat to national identity and also leads to a rich exchange of culture on the basis of lifestyle and thought. It is even confirmed that local politics in Britain have promoted the values of the dominant white culture thereby ignoring the culture of minority groups. Basing on such happenings in Britain it can be argued that multiculturalism policies are significantly different from the aims of anti- racism which calls for solving multi ethnic inequalities in our communities. [] 

Although policy makers are striving to put into place measures that will minimize inequality in both housing and labor market and combat racism their efforts are hampered by successive cuts in housing budgets. In order to ensure success of policy initiatives there is greater need to multi face anti racist strategies that aims at structural, institutional and subjective racism. According to the study conducted by policy study institute in early 1980's it shows that the rate of unemployment was double among the diverse ethnic communities. Another research shows that there is continuing differences in terms of exclusive method of hiring and wage rates thus giving great opportunity to specific communities that has made successfully than others. Although the labor market structure in Britain is witnessing rapid changes many still argue that the gains realized by certain ethnic communities should not be viewed as an end of discrimination in the labor market for disadvantaged groups but rather they have occurred because of high rates of industrial restructuring which is absolutely higher than the forces of racial discrimination. [] 

Social theorist in Britain agrees that the existing classifications of various ethnic communities have made it difficult for policy makers to design policies that can address inequality between diverse ethnic groupings. Most sociologists in Britain are said to have find multiculturalism as undesirable term and argue that the globalization process distinction among groups may be hindered by formation of new types of ethnic identities. It is therefore advisable that minority groups begin the efforts geared towards eliminating cases of racism in our communities. [] 

It is still pertinent to argue that multiculturalism policies are contrary to the aims of anti-racism in Britain because the policies they focus mostly on cultures and they comprises aspects of cultural differences thus ignoring the looming effects of racism in British society. Discrimination on basis of race was common in the British communities which affected the life of black race in areas like employment and education. Basing on the prevalence of multiculturalism that failed to address the issues of equality, power and social justice. Anti- racist aims therefore came to serve as an alternative to multiculturalism since it comprised of issues that are beyond multicultural educarion. [] 

Discussion between anti-racism and multiculturalism approaches has been ongoing in Britain and many community workers taught that using radical agendas to address the issue but still this may not serve as a solution to the problem because there is need to first establish the causes of racism and from these causes they may be able to develop a process that will address inequality in the British society. [] 

Radical anti- racist community work calls for solidarity that will link experiences and single out similarities among different groups and this will serve as a beginning of the agenda of radical change. In their bid link the blacks and whites in Britain, community workers have tried to create space for different groups of people to come together so as to engage in self help groups, this strategy witnessed both girls and women working with men. The efforts of community workers can be credited because they are trying to help address inequality in British society by ensuring that the blacks and white work together thereby enabling these divergent groups to come together. [] 

Education projects that have been intended to address racial and all sorts of inequality have met great resistance from multiracial societies. In Britain in particular the inception of anti- racism in 1980s was strongly criticized by educationist for imposing race on what was termed as color blind education system. The conservative educationist's perspective was therefore perceived antiracism as confrontational, radical, extremist and divisive to a quite harmonious benevolent multiculturaralism. Research shows that raising the issue of racism in British society which claims to be neutral and color blind is seen as a divisive invitation racial discord and it was also argued that teacher autonomy was strongly restricted in learning environment which was said to be neutral. [] The ongoing trend of resistance by multiracial societies towards racial injustices within education environment in British society is a clear testimony that multiculturalism policies are contrary with the objectives of antiracism. [] 

Multiculturalism has been defined in various ways in education literature and it has been commonly used in daily discussions in our communities, media and culture and above all it has a strong ideological and political content thus it has been commonly used in decision making process. Despite all this multiculturalism has been perceived as having contradictory implications and even the phenomena associated with it has led to considerable confrontation. Even though multiculturalism in general terms implies various strategies that deals with social heterogeneity and cultural diversity of recent societies. Multiculturalism embodies a number of discussions as well as meaning making procedures that stress heterogeneous and diversified cultural interaction. [] 

Multiculturalism is viewed as profoundly political in nature as its meaning rotate around the power structures as well as production of political hierarchies. The discourse process of multiculturalism certain cultures and groups are believed to be more important than others because it promotes certain cultures and groups in the discourse. The promotion of some groups and cultures by multiculturalism is a clear indication that multiculturalism principles do not rime with anti-racism aims which calls for promotion of all types of groups and culture. Research points out that the discourse of multiculturalism is often produced with oppression and dominance yet it supposed to serve as a strategy that promotes equality for all and act as an anti-racist discourse. Although it is known that multicultural policies and principle are supposed to guarantee equality for all people, scholars have argued that it has failed to combat racism in political structures of British society thereby conflicting with the aims of anti racism which requires a society that is equally represented in all aspects of political dimension. [] 

Scholars confirm that culture is good since it provides a context of choice. Culture is defined as distinct perspectives, customs for a given group of individuals. It is also stipulated that culture has been used to refer to ethnic and national differences where culture is identical with people or countries. Similarly culture was restricted to groups of individual that shares a given language. It has been argued by scholars that through understanding the culture of other groups it may be possible for people to appreciate and respect the culture of the minority groups. It is indicated that the dominant culture in Europe is British culture where many groups of people such as immigrants conformed to euro-liberal whiteness. Immigration history in Britain indicates that ethno-cultural group's were favored in nation building in perspectives of skin color and how intimately they may well incorporate euro-liberal values. Many groups were therefore absorbed by the British culture hence enabling U.K to have a predictable population. This is a justification that some cultures are superior to others in certain perspectives and that is why it should be maintained that multiculturalism did not offer immediate solutions to the problems of racism in British society. [] 

In liberal multiculturalists power remained under-theorized simply because to their point of view power is believed to be uni-dimensional and one direction. Liberal multiculturalists botched to assess racist systems of meaning making in combination with patriarchal as well as sexist systems of connotation- making due overemphasizing on culture as linguistic as well as homogenization of minority cultures. [] 

Multiculturalism policies have been very paradoxical as it was used in Britain. Although its aims were to contain antiracist struggles, create a new national identity so as to solve the problem of rising rates of non white migration research shows that even though the policy had some positive impacts for instance tolerance of non whites to a greater extent the effects of the policy were largely negative in nature in terms of organizing for antiracist hassles since it transformed racial discrimination into race relations where the whites were given first priority. Instead of addressing racism in Britain, multiculturalism went as far as explaining the differences in attitudes and behavior which further derailed the efforts of addressing inequality in British society thus not an appropriate tool for promoting social and ethnic justice across different groups of people in Britain. [] 

Although multiculturalism may have served Britain very well, hostility by dominant societies against multicultural policies forced the country to start linking its policies with business development where migrants were absorbed in lowly paid jobs. Even though migrants were deployed in industries where their labor was appreciated by meager pay, the whites still blamed the migrants that they were snatching their higher wage jobs. This was quite contradicting with the feelings of migrants since they looked at the wages they received as peanuts. [] 

Most feminist antiracist scholars have believes that racism interconnect with systems of structured inequality such as sexuality, language, nationality, class, gender among others. They continue to argue that it's difficult to understand racism subordinations without comprehending the technicalities of sexuality which strengthen its practice and discourse. Therefore sexual desires, fears and fantasies of the whites heterosexual females and males comprises of feminine and masculine objects that are either desired, exploited, feared and dominated. Some of antiracist activists have tried to look at racism as if it was different from other types of inequality and they thus perceive it as socially disruptive and hamper the advancement of communities. [] 

The modern point of view strongly influences current understanding of how racism takes place in form of identities and subjectivity. The post colonial approaches view individuals as groups that is not unified and therefore it is the responsibility of the state to lay strategies that will address the problem of race. Studies conducted on racial formation in Britain shows that racism has been central for the creation of states. [] 

Research shows that multiculturalism threatens the British identity and therefore British society requires ties that will bind all groups of people which multiculturalism failed to provide thus responsible for creating barriers among various tribes that comprises of the modern Britain. Although some progress have been made in as far as fighting racism is concerned many still argue that the progress made by multiculturalism are measurable by small margins. The writer points out that he was surprised when a London cabbie refused him from entering his taxi simply because of the skin color [] . This is an open discrimination which multiculturalism has compromised with in British society. Although the policies emphasizes on provision of special preference for the black and Asians, the policies have been viewed as quite irrelevant and above all out of touch for our current generation.

Although many people expected a world that is integrated, multiculturalism policies hare spit societies against each other. It has made those who saw themselves as black to retreat into tribal identities and it's affirmed that the whites in Britain have no interests in the concerns of the black. [] 

The envelop of multiculturalism in Britain has been carries by people who have no interests of integrating the diversified social groups. It is pointed out that treating of blacks in a different way paved way for white institutions to continue operating as if nothing took place ever since the coming of the windrush from west Indies. The writer points out that multicultural perspectives failed to change anything even if you focus your views on great companies like BBC. Similarly it is indicated that the youths who grew up in the era of multiculturalism it is evident that both the whites, Asians, blacks and other types of races are intolerant with the principles of multiculturalism as they also refute traditional categories that multiculturalism tries to shoehorn them into. [] 

Despite the fact that many people in Britain felt connected to the standards of their parents their identities kept on changing in a manner that was capricious for instance young white men began to be assimilated to black way of life and the Asian girl's refuted forced marriages. This is a clear show that the multiculturalism policies that had impacted the society culture were being defeated by the new generation. The unpredictable change in culture caused by the force of the new generation helped address racism in Britain by large margins. [] 

Some people taught that multiculturalism had only destructive consequences, some societies indicate that it was used as a channel of abusing human rights but the judicial system, police and some social workers were very reluctant to intervene in the cases where domestic violence and racism was observed taking place. One Asian girl in an interview said that she was grossly mistreated by both her parents and whites that forced her into marriage with a man who eventually raped her several times. According to the girl multiculturalism is a mere cover that does not in any way address the grievances of the minority groups and that is why it should be argued that multiculturalism was an ineffective tool that did not aim at addressing racial discrimination in British society thus antiracism strategies were supposed to be empowered by all stakeholders and help fight the looming dangers of inequality that leaves the entire community of Britain at stake.

The outdated term called ethnic minorities is a great hindrance toward the efforts of integration in British society because it assumes that there was a large homogenous white majority who were bordered by the so called tribal minorities that were quite strange for the dominant white community. Such perspectives are great obstacles to addressing inequality in the diverse communities that are in search of integration for the whole world. [] 

It should be emphasized that the current world is occupied by individual from diversified culture, race, beliefs, class among other sub distinctions, therefore it is an obligation of all people in Britain to understand that what is mostly needed is a national conversation that will promote collective identity. The British society similarly needs to forge for ties which will bind all categories of people so as to have a new British identity. Although cultural diversity is a condition that is unavoidable in the current world, it should be remembered that respect for the culture of other individuals is highly called for and it must apply to blacks, Asians, whites and other minority groups and this struggle will be successfully if people stop retreating into smaller tribes. Multiculturalism policies therefore have been great disastrous in the efforts of addressing inequality in brutish society. []