Which forms of multiculturalism do you believe are beneficial to society?

There are arguments for, and against, each of these IMO except the one I labeled “c”.

a) religious pluralism - societies in which many religions are practiced by significant percentages of the population (i.e. imagine that 30% of the population is Muslim, 20% Catholic, 20% Eastern Orthodox, 15% Jewish, etc.)

b) multiple languages, where not everyone understands every language spoken, and there is no one unifying language.

c) ethnic diversity, like you find in the United States

d) racial diversity where there is no group with a solid majority of the population.

Also with the language option, people are not all obligated to speak one language in the public sphere so what it’d come down to is, if the business owners speak only Spanish or Chinese for instance, if you cannot speak or learn enough of that language to get by, you won’t be able to be served at that business, and they don’t have to learn your language to be able to help you.

I think all of them work if you don’t go overboard on the language diversity thing.

I’d say language diversity (without one unifying language between them) is the one element of multiculturalism that doesn’t work. A society where people can’t communicate beyond their own group is not one that can function as a whole.

Agree, but I didn’t interpret the poll that way. As worded it was “*Linguistic diversity without everyone knowing every language spoken in the society”, *not that there was no common language for the society. Effectively this is how I grew up; for example, most of the kids in my core group of friends in college were children of immigrants who grew up speaking a non-English home language. In our group of about 12 people, we obviously all knew English, but had 8 or 9 non-English languages represented (two dialects of Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Hungarian, Latvian, Korean, Greek).

C. Restaurants

I think multi-multiculturalism is more of a necessary evil than a plus so I voted ‘none of them’. I think there are a lot of benefits to being a mostly homogeneous society (more like Scandinavia and less like the U.S.). I don’t think multi-multiculturalism should be a societal goal in and of itself. It is closer to a problem that must be addressed or worked around rather than something to be actively encouraged.

I consider diversity to be a related but separate concept except I would argue that diversity is mostly good and large-scale multi-multiculturalism is almost always a net negative. The difference between the two concepts is subtle but very important. Multi-culturalism accepts parallel but separate cultures within a society who never fully assimilate into the mainstream (Muslims in France for example) while diversity accepts that there are different groups being added to a society but they should converge over time like the melting-pot ideal.

In the poll, you mention: “Linguistic diversity without everyone knowing every language spoken in the society” but the body of your text adds “and there is no one unifying language.”

English is the “unifying” language, as it always has been. But not every first-generation immigrant has mastered it Their children have & their grandchildren have usually never learned the original tongue. I wouldn’t mind of more Americans were multilingual. For reasons of history & geography, Spanish will not disappear from Texas. But English is in no danger–although some might criticize the ways we speak it here…

Multiculturalism is reality, outside certain isolated backwaters. Which the smart kids leave as soon as they realize the big cities offer better music & more interesting places to eat…

I pretty much agree with your post entirely. I myself use 'multiculturalism" to mean diversity but they are very different.

So what’s the difference between multiculturalism and what Shagnasty calls *multi-*multiculturalism?

I think I made a search and replace mistake on that one. Just mentally replace ‘multi-multiculturalism’ with ‘multiculturalism’.

There are some benefits to a diverse society, better food choices, less welfare, better comedians, and more entrepreneurialism. There are also drawbacks to a diverse society, less social trust, less charity, worse government, slower economic growth, and higher crime.
The paradox is that the things that make a homogenous society better are the things that make people want to move there increasing the diversity of the society. Thus many of the best places in the world keep getting more diverse.

I voted for all of them as being the best available choice. But I’m a little tenuous on the language one the way it’s described.

But overall, I think multiculturalism is good for the same reason a free market is good. The availability of multiple options makes for a better society.

I personally like the multiculturalism of ethnic foods, music, art, lovely women, and so forth.

Don’t think it has to be restricted or doled out. Enjoy what is there!

“C” could be problematic, but luckily, never happens in real life.

I voted “All of them”, with the caveat that I assumed that for the religion one, religious pluralism was being contrasted with a mono-religious society like Saudi Arabia or the Vatican (as opposed to an a-religious one, which I’m all for)

That’s how I interpreted it as well. Every multilingual society I’ve lived in has had one or two common languages; heck, many languages were originally pidgins/creoles born when two other languages met. You may occasionally run into a situation where two people have no common language and need someone else to interpret, but the mechanics are not so different from having, say, a middle-aged child accompany an elderly patient to the doctor in order to interpret Old-person-speak / Doctor-speak.

When a Mommy who speaks a language and a Daddy who speaks another language want to bump uglies more than once, either one of them manages to learn the other one’s language, or they make a new baby language… (they may also make human babies, who will grow up speaking from one to three languages). In fact, when my maternal grandparents met (both born in Barcelona), he didn’t speak Catalan and she didn’t speak Spanish.

Look at the amount of NONE.

Thank God there’s some people who figured it out.
Good on you people.

Nonsense. The fact that people still think this way is the only thing backwater about it.
It’s liberal indoctrination that’s misleading with an underlying tone that ‘simple’ equates ‘stupid.’

I don’t buy the concept that multiculturalism makes you stronger or any of that bullshit. People act as if a physics research lab with 5 different cultures making a contribution is somehow going to find the Higgs boson faster or something. Or that someone is more likely to discover a new cancer treatment because their heritage makes them wear bright colorful clothes. People in one country who can’t speak the same language is nothing but pure negative.

Any time someone identifies with a culture that isn’t your national culture, your country will have more strife. The best places in the world to live are pretty much all monocultural.

Race doesn’t have to be relevant to this. Race doesn’t have to correlate to culture, and people of all races can be willing to assimilate into the national culture. The important thing is that immigrants don’t seperate yourself by maintaining allegiance to whatever culture they came from. They should wholly buy in to wherever it is they decided would provide them with a better life. Any resistance to that assimilation is almost entirely negative for the value of that society.

All this “strength in multiculturalism” stuff is liberal bullshit. It may be intended to promote tolerance or fight racism, but that’s tangenital - people can assimilate into their host cultures regardless of race. Very little good and lots of downside come from trying to maintain your own isolated cultural values that differ from where you live. We’d all be happier if we identified ourselves by one big national culture rather than by ethnic or racial culture.

I have to agree with everything you said SenorBeef. Somehow though, the fact that some people really like eating at ethnic restaurants before retreating back to the suburbs makes them forget about all the other issues associated with multiculturalism as a societal goal.