Dutch Culture "Typical Dutch? Term Paper

Pages: 7 (2608 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Government

(History in a Nutshell 12-13) There is a passage that is particularly interesting in the History in a Nutshell document that is worth quoting:

According to some Dutch historians, the polder model goes back a very long way. As long ago as the Middle Ages, it was vital for people living in low-lying areas to get on with each other and work together in order to keep their feet dry. This required - as indeed it still does - constant consultation between a host of parties, including public authorities, landowners and district water boards. Each of these will have its own priorities. For example, the water boards will be anxious to drain away excess water as quickly as possible and the farmers will want a low water table to facilitate their activities, while nature conservationists will be keen on precisely the opposite to encourage wetland species. The ability to appreciate each other's point-of-view is indispensable if parts of the Netherlands are not to disappear under water again. (22)Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Dutch Culture "Typical Dutch?" the Assignment

William Z. Shetter in the work The Netherlands in Perspective, in his chapter on Dutch literature also offers an interesting glimpse into the way in which the literature of the Netherlands demonstrates historical feelings regarding certain important issues such as the reconciliation associated with the postcolonial society. According to a Shetter, the literature of the Netherlands, "From its first beginnings, a mixture of strong realism, moral-didactic purpose and a satiric attitude toward society is the town that gives Dutch literature a continuously recognizable voice of its own." (164) Shetter contends that through literature one can see the tendency of the Dutch to challenge social issues on a continuous basis and yet at the same time deal with such issues in a way that is not emotionally charged. This can be seen according to Shetter in a multitude of ways in the broader society. At the close of his chapter he provides a small window into the dramatic arts as well which brings to mind the viewing of two relatively recent films both of which make a connection between minority immigrants and morally marginal activities like soft drug sales and criminal rings of robbers. Yet both of these films, Shouf habibi! translated into English as Hush Baby (2004) and Simon (2004) treat issues of the challenges between the conservative historical culture of the immigrants which is challenged by the open and tolerant culture of the Netherlands satirically. Shetter also discusses in this chapter on mass media the influence that media has and has historically had on Dutch culture. According to Shetter mass media provides an outlet for the spreading of ideas and standards of political movements especially. He claims that one cannot turn on the radio, the television or read a daily newspaper without someone trying to indoctrinate him or her in his or her ideas. (119)

David Bos also provides an interesting look into Dutch culture that stresses a common trend in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe for secularization. According to Bos a 20th and 21st century trend has been associated with the decrease number of religious followers among the majority in the Netherlands. Bos contends that the numbers of people who express no religious affiliation to any dominant Christian church in the Netherlands is larger by percentage than almost any other nation in Europe excluding former communist nations. The commentator states that a record number of churches and other religious institutions have been repurposed for other uses including public uses such as museums, cultural centers and some have even been turned into housing or blocks of apartment flats. (1-12) Having read this work I can conclude that secularization, a growing trend really all over the world demonstrates a movement that will seriously challenge the aforementioned conflict between the old conservative ways and the relative freedom of choice associated with Dutch Society, especially regarding minority immigrants from conservative religious and social backgrounds.

Looking more specifically into this trend of the challenges to immigration in the Netherlands Han Entzinger in his work Immigration and Multiculturalism discusses the history of the high level of tolerance the Netherlands has had for accepting individuals from all over the world into its midst. (1-2) Many think of the United States as one of the more liberal developed nations with regard to immigration, yet the United States has been historically strict when it comes to who it will let in and how many in each year from each nationality. The United States is also historically strict with regard to asylum seekers as well as illegal immigrants and this trend is becoming more apparent as United States experiences popular public and political outcry for tough on crime and tough on immigration reforms. The Netherlands on the other hand has been historically lenient and has had open borders and relatively flexible ideas about what constitutes a necessity for asylum and who can claim it and become a permanent resident or citizen of the nation. Yet this is changing as the ever fluctuating population of political leaders and political parties and the relatively high level of public participation in political and civic life in the Netherlands begins to turn a tide towards a much more conservative stance. Entzinger offers for example the growth and acceptance in 2009 of a head to immigration anti-Muslim party the Freedom Party (PPV) as it became the second largest political party in the nation. (1) Entzinger then goes on to discuss how it is that the relatively liberal and open minded people of the Netherlands began to believe that their old tolerant attitudes and policies were in error and have taken from native Dutch jobs and security in many ways the challenge to Dutch identity as a tolerant and neutral nation is Entzinger biggest fear. (1-11)

Ali, Ayaan Hirisi "Infidel." New York, NY: Free Press. 2008.

Besamascu, Emmeline, "Citizens, Coalitions and the Crown." 1-11.

Bos, David. "Religious Diversification or Secularization?" 1-12.

Bruinsma, Freek. "Law in Action." 1-8.

de Pater, Ben & Rob van der Vaart. "Randstad Holland." 1-13.

Entzinger, Han "Immigration and Multiculteralism" 1-11.

Garand, John. C.. Income Inequality, Party Polarization, and Roll-Call Voting in the U.S. Senate. Journal Of Politics, 72(4), (2010)1109-1128. doi:10.1017/S0022381610000563

History in a Nutshell, 1-39

Shetter, William, The Netherlands in Perspective Chapter "Dutch Mass Media" 119-125 and "Dutch Literature" 161-171 New York, NY: Springer 1988.

van Voss, Lex Heerma "Dilemmas of the Welfare State." 1-11.

Shouf shouf habibi! (2004) Motion Picture IMDb plot summary http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0341578/plotsummary

Simon (2004) Motion Picture IMDb plot… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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