ANSWER ANY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS
- How should Canadians respond to the environmental challenges we are facing? Develop an argument for or against a policy that would restrict our capacity to be the most active and dangerous agents of environmental change.
- Why is Canada a “troublesome” country to govern? What role does geography play in this?
- Is it possible to have “one country, two visions”? How should the question of Québec’s place
in Confederation be resolved? Describe the future geography of Canada based on your
resolution of the Québec issue.
- Outline the arguments for and against the policy of multiculturalism. What are the advantages
and disadvantages of officially promoting multiculturalism?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Canadian economy being so intricately tied
to the American economy? Develop an argument for or against the view that Canada should
take steps to decrease its reliance on the American economy.
- Outline the arguments for and against a policy that would encourage greater diversification of
Ontario’s secondary sector such that it would be less dependent on the automobile industry.
There is a lot to talk about multiculturalism in recent years. Often, when it comes to diversity in the society, multiculturalism has been popular among the people. However, due to this diversity, different individuals have different views, feelings, and perspective towards a similar subject or object. Multiculturalism is a controversial subject in most countries around the world, especially in Canada. Multiculturalism refers to the co-existence of diverse cultures, where various aspects of society such as racial, religious or cultural difference manifest in customary behavior and cultural assumptions as well as values. Notably, recent research reveals that different people have taken a different stand when it comes to multiculturalism. There are those who feel is negative, whereas others think that it is positive and make a significant difference in a particular community and society at large (Shohat, 2014). Multiculturalism in Canada represents the sense of equal celebration of racial, religious and cultural background. This essay will attempt to identify as well as elaborate on various points for and against multiculturalism.
One positive that can be drawn from multiculturalism is cultural awareness. Considering that multiculturalism is the interaction of two or more cultures in the same region, there is a high chance that it will promote cultural awareness. Cultural awareness presents the foundation of communication and widely involves the ability to stand back from our cultures and become aware of our cultural values, beliefs, and perceptions. After familiarizing ourselves width our own culture, cultural awareness helps individuals to learn to appreciate as well as respect cultural beliefs, values, and perspective of other community. Considering those different communities, races and religions have different ways of doing things; there is the risk of obtaining varied results (Modood, 2013). With cultural awareness, individual are in a position to understand why there is a variation in the result, why people behave differently and why people fall for various things and create and develop techniques and methods of living together. Besides, cultural awareness becomes the central topic and point when individuals from different cultures and background have to find a common way of living together as well as doing things together. Thus, cultural awareness helps to minimize the chances of arguments, conflicts, and fights as there is a common understanding among the people.
On the other hand, multiculturalism is known to heighten the gap between the minority and the majority in the society especially with the introduction of reservations for the minority and the disadvantaged in the society.
Source: Multicultural Literature Statistics (2014)
Considering that multiculturalism is meant to bring equality in all aspects of life ranging from employment in positions in authority for the disadvantaged in the form gender, race, and the physically challenged individuals. To ensure that this equality is observed, individuals may decide to give special privileges to these individuals as well as reserve some positions for them to occupy. Although these reservations are meant to bring equality in the society, it hinders fairness of all policies and activities in the society. Such arrangements are likely to anger the majority in the society as they may feel that there should be a fair competition for all positions and the most qualified individuals to occupy the positions rather than reserving them for certain groups in the community (Rhoads, 2016). Reserving positions or giving privileges to certain people may make others feel quite left out and tend to drive home the notion that their contributions are less appreciated thus undermining the unity and integration of various communities with a varied background.
Multiculturalism can bring economic benefits to the society if well and fully utilized. Multiculturalism helps to gather the efforts of everyone in the society, ranging from the minority to the majority as well as the less disadvantaged and puts them into the labor market and creating diversity in the way. The minority in the society is famous in participating in different business sectors such as transportation, communication, and banking as well as participating in niche markets as they rise and fall with demand.
Source: Economic Aspect of Multiculturalism (2010)
These small sectors act as an aid to trade and can widely help in achieving economic goals of any country as the minority in the society participates in economic development as well as raising the standards of living of the members of the community (Prato, 2016). Moreover, with government support through the provision of programs, education, and training to the minority to ensure equality to all individuals as well as expanding the labor market through the encouragement of investment in the private sector. Statistics show that the minority in the society who are the common participants of small and medium sectors creates more employment opportunities in a country, and the process increases the productivity of a country and the products available for trade. With an increase in these products, there is an increase in trade of the country which in turn brings economic benefits to a country in general.
Another disadvantage of multiculturalism is that it leads to erosion of the culture of both the original inhabitants of a region and the newcomers or rather the immigrants. As we all know, different cultures have different ways of doing things, values, beliefs, and language. However, width integration of various communities, there is the risk of these communities losing their identities. When people of different background and culture live together, they have to find a new way that best suits their existence together to reduce if not eliminate variations in their ways of living. In the process, both individuals lose their cultural identity, to create a new identity that marries both traditional cultures, and this may lead to erosion of the original culture. The adoption and adaptation of various cultures of the world are not easy as it forces an individual to leave his old ways for new ways (Lücke, 2014). For example, in the case of languages, each community has its own native language that is widely used by the members of that particular community, but integration with other communities forces these individuals to formulate another new language that will enable them to communicate without challenges.
Another advantage that is drawn from multiculturalism is social benefits, especially in institutions. With the increase in a number of immigrants in various institutions, the syllabus has widely changed to accommodate all the communities and their cultural backgrounds. Education institutions present a common platform where students and the population in general interact and the governments have made an effort to offer a wide range of programs that suits the needs of all individuals ranging minority to the majority. Moreover, through these programs the government can provide a welcome environment ` for individuals with different ethnic background. Statistics show that the minority occupies one-fifth of the world’s population is spread across the globe, and their contribution in the social set up in the regions they live defines the kind of life in those regions (Pitcher, 2015). Thus, multiculturalism brings a new social perspective in any society that enhances their lives. Besides, multiculturalism helps to complement people’s weaknesses and strengths considering that we all have different weaknesses and strengths. If well used, it can help in strengthening our strong hold while improving our weaknesses.
It is worth noting that multiculturalism has widely encouraged the sense of mutual acceptance and integration into the society. With a diverse population, a country or a region can boost a pool of talents considering different groups of individuals have different abilities and talents.
Source: Canadian Multiculturalism Act (2016)
Psychologists believe that sports talents are hereditary and can be transferred from the parent to the child and are associated with certain communities in various parts of the country. Thus, by supporting multiculturalism the government and the society are in a position to have a pool of sporting talents and when such individuals win the international competition, it brings pride to the country (Lücke, 2014). Some races are known to possess physical traits that make them more suitable for certain sports thus; a country with a diverse racial mix will have an advantage in those sports. On the same, multiculturalism can help in bringing up a new culture and race in the society as a result of intermarriages.
One of the most notable disadvantages of multiculturalism is discrimination of part of the population in the society. Discrimination involves the treatment or consideration of or making a distinction for or against, a person based on the group or class. Thus, having a mixture of cultures in a society opens up a channel for some individuals to discriminate others on various grounds. A diverse population presents increased potential and risk for discrimination. Naturally, if people with different backgrounds and perspectives and distinguishing traits are put in the same region persons with prejudice could use them against others. Usually, the majority tends to take advantage of their numbers to victimize the minority as well as limit their freedom in all their activities (Rhoads, 2016). Moreover, multiculturalism increases the possibility of the less unfortunate in the society to fall, victims of the wealthy and other government officers, when trying to access government and public facilities. The government has sole responsibility to create and develop policies and laws that limits if not eliminating chances of discrimination of one group of the population by another.
In conclusion, after a detailed research, we can conclude that multiculturalism has drawn mixed feelings and opinion from various sectors and regions in the world. Depending on the perspective of the population in a country or a state, multiculturalism can either yield positive results or negative results. It is upon the members of the society to develop a positive attitude and perspective towards multiculturalism to enjoy its fruits as well as improve their unity and integration. If well utilized, it can do more good than harm as every person is given an opportunity and freedom to do what he knows best in any part of the country and thus promoting patriotism (Pitcher, 2015). Notably, for multiculturalism to have greater and positive impacts, it requires the collective efforts from all areas and levels of the community and cannot be left in the hands of a certain group in the society.
Lücke, G. K. (2014). Multiculturalism from a cognitive perspective: Patterns and implications. . Journal of International Business Studies, 45(2), , 169-190.
Modood, T. (2013). Multiculturalism. . John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Pitcher, B. (2015). The politics of multiculturalism: race and racism in contemporary Britain.
Prato, G. B. (2016). Beyond multiculturalism: views from anthropology. Routledge.
Rhoads, R. A. (2016). Democracy, multiculturalism, and the community college: A critical perspective. Routledge.
Shohat, E. &. (2014). Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the media. Routledge.