By: I. Maluf
What is multiculturalism?
The word itself is hard to define, but the concept is ever-present in our daily lives: sometimes we may not even notice it. Nonetheless, it’s there, and it is growing.
In sociology, multiculturalism is defined as the belief that cultural differences should be respected and encouraged. It is the view that the different cultures that compose today’s society deserve equal admiration and scholarly interest. This concept is becoming increasingly important and relevant in today’s society, especially because of the growing globalization of the world. People are moving to other countries as often as they stay in their homeland; it has become easy, and viable. Because of this, no country has only one culture, and people are being influenced daily by other nations’ ideologies and ways of living, making everyone in contemporary society undeniably connected.
Multiculturalism makes people reflect on the complexity of the world around us, and how everyone is different and singular in their ideologies and beliefs. Not one person in the world is the same, and these differences are often cultural ones. This belief makes us realize that other cultures are as important as our own, and that persons living around us have diverse influences and different upbringings, making them unique. Different principles makes make us reflect about how people can be complex and interesting, and it makes us understand how diverse ideologies can be eye opening.
Also, the growing link with other cultures makes us more empathetic and understanding towards them. With the increasing connection between countries and the emergence of a global society, people have become aware of what others go through and what their set of beliefs might be like, creating compassion towards them. While we might not understand why a person who belongs to a tribe in a distant country acts the way they do, multiculturalism is helping create the bridge towards understanding them, and that is an essential development of humankind.