Task 2A: Multiculturalism in the English-speaking world


Task 2A asks you to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities of multiculturalism in the English-speaking world today, based on two short texts included in the assignment.

The first quotation is from Benjamin L. Pettigrew. He claims that he no longer sees multiculturalism as a solution to social problems but as one of their main causes. He argues that multiculturalism has led to the rise of far-right parties and violence. He blames the social problems and national identity problems on migration without integration.

The second quotation is from Alice Q. Bennett. She claims that the problem is not with multiculturalism but with racism. She argues that she is happily living in a multicultural neighbourhood including Hindus, Muslims, and Jews from different countries.

The challenges of multiculturalism

Both quotations offer some insight into the challenges of multiculturalism in the English-speaking world today.

Alice Q. Bennett mentions racism as one of the main challenges: “But the real problem today is all the racists who are crawling out from underneath their rocks.” People who have strong attachments to their ethnic or national group and who are not used to living in a multicultural society can feel threatened by other cultural groups and develop racist attitudes. Additionally, racism can also be fuelled by negative economic changes and political discourse. Although racism is usually culturally discouraged, people with racist views are more likely to feel comfortable expressing them in an environment where racism is more common or seen among influential figures.

Benjamin L. Pettigrew mentions several challenges of multiculturalism. He sees multiculturalism as the cause of social problems. He argues that multiculturalism “has fuelled the success of far-right parties and populist politic...

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