Home > Culture > Cultural Diversity:The role of Multiculturalism in Modern Societies

Friday , August 15. 7:00 p.m.

Jabbar Ghadhban
Public relations and Media Specialist

Guest Speaker:
Margarita Colón-Rodríguez
Professor in Developmental Psychology
Stratford University

This lecture critically examines the importance of diversity awareness in our changing landscapes. It will also contrast the positive and negative qualities of multiculturalism as a policy (addressing Social Inclusion) in pluralistic societies. Multiculturalism had been highly criticized by those who opposed with the claim that multiculturalism creates fear, division and isolation. Most recently, a group of Intellectuals primarily Europeans and Canadians proposed interculturalism (Cantle, 2012) as a better solution for management of the increasing diversity.

I contend that multiculturalism policies can be rethinking and adopted without jeopardizing the dominant society’s core values such as representation, freedom of thoughts or ideas, and property rights of the dominant society. Furthermore I contend that Interculturalism is addition of ideas within Multiculturalism.

The lecture begins with a broad introduction of cultural diversity before exploring the provenance of multiculturalism as a policy. My thesis is that cultural diversity is significant for modern societies. I will address the issue within five controversial areas: proliferation of nationalistic groups; social fragmentation; social division; socio-economic disparities; and moral hesitancy amongst native populations. It has been said that the first decade of the twenty-first century will be remembered for a series of historical episodes, including international military conflicts and global financial crises; technological innovations in mass communications, information collection, storage and surveillance; alongside and increased recognition of climate change and an associated environmental awareness (Serwer 2009 in Meer and Modood 2012.) I content that whether or not future generations will remember the twenty-first century for these historical episodes, they certainly will witnesses seemingly rapid significant development in the ways plural societies organize living with ‘difference’. They will also recognize the significance of cultural diversity for the existence and evolution of humanity.