Attitudes to cultural diversity within and between societies are closely related. Those who welcome the former generally tend to feel sympathetic to, or at least at ease with, the latter. Conversely, those who believe that cultural diversity is a source of social instability feel deeply worried about the multicultural world and think it inherently conflictual. Their response to it is twofold. Some believe that since all societies should, or are likely over time to, converge on a single culture under the impact of modernization, globalization and the spread of democratic ideas, we should ensure that this is not obstructed and, whenever possible, promoted by appropriate pressure. Others consider such convergence unlikely or undesirable, and argue that our concern should be to manage the inevitable conflicts as well as we can, and be militarily ready to deal with those that get out of control. Both views have their strong advocates, and draw their inspiration from the writings of Samuel Huntington. I shall begin by examining Huntington’s basic thesis critically, and go on to argue that a dialogue between civilizations, conducted with an open mind and in full knowledge of its limits, is the only sensible way to deal with the multicultural world.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Challenges of the Multicultural World
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number