The problem with the word Multicultural.

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Quantum Quack, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Multi cultural USA = White dominated culture superior to all other cultures.

    By acknowledging that the term multi cultural does not imply equality is one of the points I wanted to make.
    "Culture USA" for example allows equality as per the constitution and rule of law and de-legitimizes the dominance of "Anglo/Euro" white culture.
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  3. gamelord Registered Senior Member

    America is multicultural. There are black dominated cities as well as muslim/ foreign ethnic towns. If you do not like living amongst whites go live with them, theres no laws stopping you.
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  5. ArrowInTheKnee Registered Member

    Actually, the term "alien" probably refers to the term "illegal alien," which is in itself an antiquated usage of "illegal immigrant" or the more modern and popular, "asylum seeker," be it political or economic. Given that the older term was so widely used, I don't believe it's meant in a racist manner, but rather is a term which transcends temporal, cultural groups. That said, you, perhaps inadvertendly, affirm the point Quantum Quack is initially making, that the language we use can have an effect on socio-cultural norms.
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  7. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Welcome to sciforums!
    Perhaps it is difficult to think in generational terms regarding language use. The proposed changes would take many generations to come into full effect IMO. By modifying the way we think about issues, removing things that are in error etc can make a big difference over time.
    For example:
    "Culture USA(*) embraces and encourages ethnic diversity and related sub cultures"

    (*) The term "Culture USA" is only a place holder, until a better term can be thought of...
  8. ArrowInTheKnee Registered Member

    Thank you Quantum, nice to be here. I found this site through some personal research I was conducting and a post you made back in 2007, but I'll leave that topic to that place.

    "Culture USA," yes it's actually good to refer some sort of term, it gives us something to actually lead from, a platform on which to stand on, rather than just an empty theoretical concept. I was going to make an additional post last night, but I was tired and so I've left it til this morning (plus I didn't want to write too much on my first post here).
    Anyway, something not said at the start of this thread, an old distinction, would be the two immigration models of intergration vs assimilation. The US originally adopted a program of assimilation where upon emigrating to the US one would drop the culture of origin and adopt the new culture of destination. Australia instead adopted a program of intergration where one would instead embrace the culture of origin and intergrate said culture in to the new one of destination. Theorectically speaking, assimilation can be seen as a good thing, especially if one originates from an economic situation of extreme hardship, for example, to completely forget about one's past and turn over a new leaf. The problem with such is is that even at all possible? Can one seriously forget one's entire life up to a certain point, one's upbringing, cultural nuances, experiences good and bad, mistakes, successes etc? And the main question here is should one forget their past? What good would it really do, not to mention that I don't think it's even possible, so why bother trying. Should one really forget all the good and bad of one's past? The process of integration is in fact to embrace the entirety of one's past and bring all that to the dinner table. I believe the US has more or less adopted such a stance, regardless of it's official position, as assimilation is basically impossible, not practical and, in my opinion, unhealthy to boot.
    France recently rejected the concept of integration during the recent influx of refugees, after a couple of years of trial. But they don't seem to realise that it's taken Australia 20-30-40 years to get it right, and we're still figuring it out, it takes time.

    Getting back to the point Quantum was originally making though, does the term multicultural infer a sense of division, a non-united nation of separatedness and lean towards an identity which has no common ground? Perhaps our whole concept of "nation" itself is that which is starting to change, be it for better or worse, but perhaps it's an inevitible process of social maturation. Can we really change or dictate the direction or strength of the tide or should we just follow, coaxing it here and there and reaping it's benefits? My father always used to tell me, "language is what people speak," not what they should or shouldn't speak. Being a bit of a grammar nazi and looking at where our written language today, it can be a little frustrating, but I can't discount the truth of my father's statement. In this light the term "multicultural" may actually be pretty spot on, perhaps our other terms with which the term may come in to conflict with are that which may need to change... perhaps.

    I'll end with a little bit of history I hold dear. In the mid to late nineties, the "Republic" debate was in full swing here in Australia, we even had a referendom to decide on this issue (the result of which apparently really surprised the Queen, but it was a political game at the end of the day, something we see a lot of today). Anyway, The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney's main newspaper at the time) published 20 proposals for a flag change based on official surveys conducted publically. One of the flag proposals was essentially a picture of a bowl of spaghetti. Many people rang the newspaper apalled, disgusted and downright flabergasted that the paper would publish such a thing. But the Herald defended it's actions explaining that the surveys' outcomes had already been decided to be published before the results of the surveys were known. The "spaghetti" result was based on a survey which asked Australians, "What is your favourite food?" The answer was Spagehetti Bolognaise (French spelling of Spaghetti Bolognese) or commonly referred to in modern, Australian culture, "Spag Bol." Australia's favourite drink was also asked and the result was, "Cappuccino," (not the semi bald monk but the coffee drink lol). With what I've been hearing and seeing so much from the States lately, I'm wondering whether the next American flag will a picture of a yummy Taco

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  9. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Yes... integration vs assimilation or is it really "initial integration leading to eventual assimilation"? Perhaps thus indicating the subconscious reasoning behind the thread starter (OP) confusion?

    I recall my fathers journey as a sponsored migrant from the confusion of post war Europe and how he took it upon himself to never refer to his birth place as home and to always refer to his adopted nation as home. Deliberately and consciously determined to assimilate rather than just integrate.

    He chose to "forget" the history pre-1954 and always looked forward as an Australian even though citizenship took a few years to gain. He studied English ( to high school certification), opened up a business and did all the things that many post war migrants (not strictly refugees) historically did when faced with the vast opportunities upon landing and after fulfilling their employment contracts with the Government. (typically 2 years I think?).

    Anglo Australian xenophobia was intense enough at the time to enforce a greater proportion of UK migrants and force new non-UK migrants to work in "Rugged employment". It appears merely conforming with the prevailing "White Australia" policy was insufficient. A history of British Australian xenophobia fueled by post war anxieties was all too pervasive.
    However subsequent generations spawned by these post war migrants now make up the back bone of "Culture Australia" as the initial integration led inevitably to assimilation. I would imagine the same could be said for other recipients of post war migration such as the USA, Canada and others.
    For me it wasn't until my early teens that I experienced my first Pizza, our suburban existence only having traditional British Fish and Chips, managed and most often owned by an Italian. However my Father had been producing his own version of British and European patisserie, in business for some years well before Mediterranean cuisine became popular and acceptable.

    It is interesting when comparing it to the current situation and very easy to adopt the xenophobic position and attitudes of the past as we go through wave after wave of integration leading to generational assimilation in an effort to "populate or perish" and avoid the problems of an aging population.

    Needless to say it is a complex issue and you are quite correct to question whether attempting to overly control it all is worth it or even possible especially when assimilation typically takes about 2 generations to really bite.
    Now though there is a changed environment that involves a few different classes of migrants. Asylum seeking and refugees. Perhaps the fact that the post war migration, that my father participated in was essentially voluntary, in that he voluntarily decided to leave Europe after escaping Soviet annexation and voluntarily chose Australia as his destination. Perhaps the asylum seeker and refugee of today is less voluntary having in most cases been violently uprooted from their homes and forced to flee on a road to nowhere. Perhaps this makes a significant difference?
    Perhaps this makes integration leading to assimilation all the more difficult and longer in generational terms to satisfactorily complete the transition. Instead of 2 generation perhaps 3 or 4 is necessary.

    I think that it is fairly obvious that the more injured the migrating person is the more important identity, for the sake of sanity is, therefore multicultural integration as you have defined it, would be a quite rational approach, however the need to maintain assimilation as the ultimate goal even if over many generations, is essential to avoid fragmentation of the primary National culture of tolerance and mutual respect of ethnic and religious diversity etc.

    So the question perhaps that should have been posited in the thread starter could have been :

    If we wish to maintain a multicultural society how do we go about encouraging a national culture whilst respecting that multiculturalism?

    and leave it as an open question with an open invite for responses.
  10. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    i wanted to note this.
    "justice" seems to be a wholly cultural subjective term
    thus "in-justice" by its very nature defines a sense of the imposing polar moral position
    this moral position is wholly subjective to cultural nature in terms.
    Christian justice
    Muslim justice
    Secular justice
    Moral justice
    Financial justice

    the very nature of implied terms for discussion is quite loaded.
    i find the Americanism "bring them to justice" to be a subjective term which is ingrained in a cultural identity of specific moral code.
    ironically if one is to look at the USA as a christian nation, then "turning the other cheek" and "seeking forgiveness" should be equal to "justice" in that "bringing them to justice" is making self effort to forgive & turn the other cheek.
    however we know this is not the case so the moral nature of its equality is skewed.
    this "skew" is in fact "culture"
    cultural morality in practice.

    regardless of it being adopted by other political and power positions to be used as a prequel to seeking military action or condoning means justifying the ends.
    (i see no point in using Muslim culture[sharia] to define the nature of "bringing to justice" as that is soo extreme in interpretation that it becomes a separate argument to the nature of brutality and blood lust defined by the nature of any religious ideology.
    this is why i use the terms)
    Secular Muslim & Secular Christian to define the non blood lust type of morality that pertains to that ideological religious belief as a form of cultural morality.

    question of perception of terms by nature of definition...

    collective action to socially interact is the definition of culture ?
    specific ritualized behavior sets that are affirmed by group authority is culture ?

    ... subjective
    should any group or individual need to abandon their nature of culture to interact as a group cultural practice ?
    ... is "abandonment of the self identity" equal to subjective interpretation by the mentioned "xenophobe/patriot"
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
    ArrowInTheKnee likes this.
  11. Benson Registered Senior Member

    I'm sure many are aware of Jordan Peterson and maybe his interview on this subject adds something behind multiculturalism.

    ArrowInTheKnee likes this.
  12. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    The lines of conflict are (at least in Europe, the deeply racist US may have different problems) not along ethnicity. The European rights I know about (except for real fascist movements like the Ukrainian Bandera fascists) do not care much about ethnicity or race, they care about culture. And, indeed, they see the destruction of European culture and its replacement by a multicultural society which equally supports Islamic and African culture as dangerous. To have a single "leading culture" with variants connected with different ethnicities was already the established policy in Germany in the past, it worked nicely integrating Polish workers in the coal mines of the Ruhr in the past, and integrating Russian, Greek, Italian immigration. Nobody objects against immigration from the Far East. And all the Germans like the fact that there are now a lot of restaurants with meals from very different cultures - Italian, Greek, Turkish, Russian, Chinese, Indian restaurants.

    But it did not work with Islamic immigration, first of all with Turks, today the greatest problems are with North African immigration. They simply do not accept any German or European leading culture.

    On the other hand, what the multi-culturalists propose is, in fact, what you say - a single leading culture, with many ethnic subcultures. But the subdivision is along a different line. The leading culture is the one of political correctness. It is a quite totalitarian one, based on control of speech. And the main point of this is some totalitarian version of equality. All the subcultures should have equal access to money and to power. But different cultures are in no way equal. Some are better, some are worse, and in quite objective ways - there are cultures which allow for a rich, peaceful life and others which lead to destruction. So, reasonable people would not prefer a society where the destructive cultures have equal access to power.

    In this sense, multiculturalism is an own candidate for a leading culture - but one rejected by the Rights as well as Islamic culture as the leading culture for Europe.
  13. Benson Registered Senior Member

    The way multiculturalism works is like having a shop with 10 managers. They're not going to agree.
  14. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    an interesting take...
    Does "the rule of law" define a national culture or does culture define the rule of law?
  15. Benson Registered Senior Member

    Probably the latter.
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Chicken and the egg...perhaps?
  17. Benson Registered Senior Member

    Depends if you like fried chicken or omlettes.
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  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Note: As I have been publicly accuse of trolling by the site administrator, JamesR, I will no longer be participating in this thread or any other for some time...
  19. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    lol that is
    only the case where Fascist leadership is normalized as a normal culture expectation.
    only the case where racial segregation has been normalized and justified.

    when Facist dictatorship is normal then no other forms of identity are allowed.
    in Fascism, culture is defined as a state operated system of control.

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