Essay: Multiculturalism Is Being Challenged by New Theories of Cosmopolitanism

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Multiculturalism Challenged by New Theories of Cosmopolitanism

Reasons and challenges of developing policies of multiculturalism in Australia

Multicultural theory is broad often defying its obvious definition. It might be used as a demographic fact that describes the coexistence of individuals from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds in a single organization or society. In Australia, multiculturalism policies have been used to manage sets of diversity. Which racial have achieved this through processes and ethnic groups leverage their support towards achieving their aspirations. In Australia, the concept of multiculturalism has taken a negative connotation, being perceived as a diverse force instead of a platform for coexistence and mutual benefit. In Australia, the concept of multiculturalism has been used to refer to a set of ideals and ideas celebrating the cultural diversity of the nation. From the policy angle of view, it implies the processes of managing ethical and cultural diversity through formal initiatives in the municipal and provincial domains (Werbner, 2006).

Australia has implemented multicultural policies focusing on systems of behaviors and beliefs that respect and acknowledge the presence of different groups in the society. This encompasses valuing and recognizing the socio-cultural difference across these groups. The Australians society benefits from promoting inclusiveness. This suggests that Australia has used multicultural policies as a platform to enable Australians to be part of nation building. For this to succeed, it must receive support from strong policies that promote equal participation by diverse groups (Ang & Stratton, 1998).

There have been raging debates about the impact and role of multiculturalism on the integration of religious minorities, ethnic groups, racial and immigrants in Australia. These arguments have been drawn from different multiculturalism concepts. Different groups have issued contradicting positions regarding the acceptance of diversity characterized in Australia today. It is clear that the policies of multiculturalism promote integration because they eliminate barriers to participation in the Australian life. There is accumulating evidence that the policies of multiculturalism have been playing positive roles in integrating religious, ethnic and immigrant minorities across Australia. This is unlike other nations that have not embraced multiculturalism policies. This policy has been successful based on common examples such as the high level of mutual acceptance and identification among native-born Australians and immigrants. Other great examples include, immigrants in Australia have high chances of becoming citizens, high levels of intermarriages in Australia and the fact that immigrants have the likelihood of participating in political processes, party memberships, voters, and political candidates than in other countries such as Europe. A shared sense of belonging and identity are common indicators of how multicultural policies have been effective in Australia (Spisak, 2009).

On the other hand, multiculturalism policies seek to threaten national cohesion because of its contributions towards ghettonization in Australia. Recent surveys indicate that most Australians opposed cultural diversity because it undermines the values of Australia. Based on these surveys, Australians are increasingly raising concerns and worries that national unity is threatened by the growth of atomization of Australian society along ethical lines. Some critics are of the belief that policies of multiculturalism are contributing to the erosion of its mandate and funding by shifting focus to race, citizenship, and identity in relation to language preservation and heritage culture. Policies of multiculturalism might act as barriers to social inclusion and integration of immigrants. Policies that focus exclusively on educational and economic integration are more effective than multiculturalism policies that focus on the preservation of religious, cultural, and ethnic identity. Accumulated evidence points out that some racial groups have not been equally integrated in Australia. This suggests that the primary purpose of multiculturalism policy of observing differences has failed to recognize different values (Rizvi, 2008).

Why cosmopolitan social theory might be useful in relation to the earlier benefits and problems with multiculturalism

The cosmopolitan social theory is based on generality, individualism, and universal emphasis on persons rather than communities and tribes. It is also founded on the principles of inclusion of all people. When it comes to comparisons of multiculturalism and cosmopolitan social theory, three obstacles are evident: cultural relativism, cultural respect, and diverse cultural values. Cosmopolitan social theory has levels of motivational vacuums arising from its weak or thin connection between common humanity members (Ang & Stratton, 1998). As much as the multicultural theory has recognized the similarities of common humanity, it has failed to acknowledge the aspect of political action.

For this reason, the cosmopolitan theory comes in to help. The cosmopolitan social theory is an alternative approach that strengthens the cultural ties. Cosmopolitan social theory concentrates on cosmopolitan values representing the evolution process of civilization. The theory accepts values, excluding violence as an action model. Concern and care for others, as well as protection of the rights of other people are the core nerve of human rights. It mirrors the transformations of civilization of global relations. The cosmopolitan social theory argues that the Australian society must be able to accept other people's cultural demands, even if it is ironical to their own cultural demands. According to this theory, Australians must remain patriotic while recognizing other people's ironical cultural demands (Sobe, 2009).

This theory supports that Australians must develop a national relationship with space representing the formulation of their own nationalism and culture. It points out to the deficits in the multicultural theory, which has separated cosmopolitan and patriotism. If Australians ironical differences across cultures, then they are likely to gain self-determination freedom. Because the current Australian society has become complex and a cultural hybrid, extreme and real feelings have no room in this society. Constant interaction and the need for intercultural sensitivities with strangers tend to promote irony concerning the highly valued social interaction. Irony is closely linked to simulation, and is essential in interactions between multicultural societies. The Australian world is increasingly becoming a globalized cultural hybrid whereby people have become urban strangers due to ironical distance (Ang & Stratton, 1998).

Because the Australians desire to have democracy, justice and freedom, the cosmopolitan social theory is the best application to the multicultural issues in the society. This includes people from different ethnic and cultural background sharing land. These people have formed a pattern of moving from the same space and land. They have different ways of socializing and adapting to different conditions. While human beings are both social beings and social, they tend to leave behind their beliefs and adopt new beliefs. Likewise, they desire to control everything in their own ways (Leeman & Reid, 2006). This suggests that cosmopolitan social theory is likely to have greater impacts on certain communities. This approach is likely to generate discipline across different fields such as politics and education because it emphasizes that people should share the limited space with others. Because human beings have been compared to curious animals, they fight, migrate, and travel as they explore different ways of living. Unlike the multiculturalism theory, the cosmopolitan social theory emphasizes that people in Australia should live in the limited space with others and should not consider immigrants as foreigners. This involves empowering immigrants and members of minority groups to cooperate and speak in the formulation of the locally globalized society (Rizvi, 2008).

Multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism

There are profound differences and similarities between multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism. To begin with, multiculturalism focuses on preserving the inherent cultural differences while cosmopolitanism is founded on bridging the gap between cultural differences. Multiculturalism refers to real and separate statues founded on collectivism, which means different cultural groups being empowered despite their associations and backgrounds. The power of collectivism is not expected to be equally shared among diverse groups or may be shared un-proportionately, but it is shaped by the group identities. Cosmopolitanism is an ambiguous word unlike multiculturalism, which has a single meaning. The term cosmopolitan has been widely used to mean worldliness or readiness in accepting different influences.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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