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Multiculturalism is a current in socio-political thought claimed by some to be an ideology. It is popular among the political left and social liberals in developed countries.

The primary focus of multiculturalism is centred around the interactions between different cultural groups resident within a political entity; namely a state.

Exponents of multiculturalism often believe some, but not necessarily all of the following:

  • Different ethnic groups possess unique attributes.
  • Differences and similarities between ethnic groups should be identified and celebrated.
  • Different ethnic groups should learn from each other, and one means to this is by living within the same country.
  • Ethnic homogeneity[?] within a country leads to a bland and highly negative existence, and should be strongly discouraged.
  • Mass immigration has positive effects on society.
  • The hegemony of occidental cultures has been a source of racism and intolerance, and the foundation of numerically large ethnic minorities within countries of predominantly occidental culture may influence members of the majority community towards tolerance and and away from a heritage of racism.
  • Most human beings are inherently prone to, and the perpetrators of, racism and intolerance, and may, in theory, learn how to be tolerant and unracist by living in a diverse environment.
  • Opposition to multiculturalism is fueled by racism.

Opponents of multiculturalism often believe some, but not necessarily all of the following:

  • Some variant of the argument from racism, not wanting to let other cultures into their country because they want to keep it "pure"
  • That a multicultural society carries the risk of violence and disorder between the ethnic groups within it, and hence should be discouraged.
  • Radically different cultures cannot naturally co-exist.
  • Racism is inherent in human beings, and cannot be gotten rid of totally.
  • That multiculturalism risks elevating collective rights above individual rights thereby endangering civil liberties and the principle of equality before the law.
  • That multiculturalism is intellectually incoherent, being an aggregation of various doctrines all of which have been regarded as progressive but which yield mutually contradictory premises. Examples that have been cited are: 1)elite-group chartered relations (Toryism), 2)popular, civil society tribalism, 3)post-material reactions to neoconservative "monoculturalism", 4)traditionalism and mutual, ethnocentric rejections, 5)Orientalist fetishism and 5)pluralist attempt to distract the civil society from real issues.

It is possible to be pro-multiculturalism, but opposed to immigration. This is common in people who do not oppose other cultures being part of their country and offering what they can, but believe open borders will lead to an influx of people which the country cannot bear.

See Also Inter-faithism, biculturalism

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