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Social Identity and Multicultural Solidarity

Today, when societies become more and more multicultural, the issue of national solidarity becomes especially relevant. Many countries strive to preserve their unique cultural and social identity by adopting stricter immigration laws, social policies and creating economic barriers in the way of migrants. However, the processes of globalization can only be hampered but not altogether terminated as these processes have become an inherent part of today’s society. The article “One for all and all for one” looks upon the problem of social identity and suggests how multicultural solidarity can be created in our global world. This paper hypothesizes that while the author’s arguments for building multicultural solidarity are correct, in practice, the idea can hardly be brought about in modern society. At present, there are too many diversities and centrifugal forces that threaten to tear apart the soft tissue of multicultural solidarity.

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Social solidarity can be determined by many factors, among which religious identity, the state’s social policy, cultural properties, and the societal vision of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ developed throughout centuries. Taylor (2010) argues that instead of fighting people who think and believe differently, governments and societies should embrace an approach to allow these people to become full-fledged participants of society. While this approach finds support at many governmental and societal levels, there are many stumbling blocks not mentioned by the author due to which the creation of multicultural solidarity may fall apart.

Many governments openly admitted that the attempts to integrate migrants in their respective societies failed due to these people’s uncompromising beliefs. Taylor (2010) mentions mutual respect as a basis for creating multicultural solidarity but does not indicate how this mutual respect should be developed. Today, many people come to Western societies searching for a better life and blatantly disrupt the existing democratic institutions, trample civil freedoms, and bully citizens into keeping silent. Taylor (2010) names democratic institutions as central pillars for creating multicultural solidarity but is not aware that democratic principles are not shared by all the cultures. Some cultures and societies are, in essence, profoundly patriarchal and are not ready to adopt basic democratic principles such as equality of men and women, equal access to education, and the freedom of speech. If these principles are imposed from above, it may cause a severe backlash, resulting in terror acts, mass murders, and kidnappings. If they are compromised and not universally upheld, the essence of multicultural solidarity can be questioned.

However, globalization is on the march, and societies should find ways to incorporate multiculturism into citizens’ everyday lives. Among the means to do this, Taylor (2010) names seeking a solution through dialogue and opinion exchanges. These means can be very effective when adopted at all levels, from governmental sessions to street conversations; however, proper initiation of such debates may pose a problem. Indeed, Taylor (2010) says that it is much easier to stick to one’s point of view than to admit that confronting opinions may suggest alternatives better suited to face modern challenges. Taylor (2010) rightly notes that people are self-centered and not willing to compromise their comfort but suggests no ways to make people willing to embrace dialogue. Governmental efforts to create a common multicultural identity often fail because people are not ready to engage in cross-cultural conversation.

National identity is the notion usually used to differentiate between different cultures and societies. Taylor (2010) suggests redefining social identity to embrace outlooks that run counter to the adopted values by including them into the system of societal values. However, not all outlooks can be successfully incorporated, raising questions about why some values are adopted and others not. Moreover, central believes in certain cultures run counter to previously adopted societal values, which poses questions about successful incorporation.

In addition, the strength of the proposed redefined solidarity can be questioned since different groups where people belong may be seen as more authoritative than newly-established values. For example, Muslim leaders have exceptional influence in Muslim communities. If some of their expectations are not met, they may ask the congregation not to identify with newly established solidarity principles.

The idea of creating cross-cultural solidarity is not new and, in recent years, has been widely discussed. The article suggests ways through which compromise may be established, and the process of societal redefinition be brought about. However, the practical realization of his initiatives, such as making the democratic institutions the central pillars of a new identity, may be questioned since the democratic vector is not universally accepted as a basis for social norms and values. While globalization dictates the necessity of engaging in cross-cultural dialogue, many people are reluctant to compromise their beliefs and are not ready to embrace conflicting opinions and views. Stating the essential character of the cross-cultural identity, the article gives no real clues as to how such identity should be created, since the proposed democratization may not meet the ideals and expectations of all societal groups. The article, defining the problem of creating a new identity, leaves the readers room for thinking through which institutions this identity may be brought about.

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Reference

Taylor, C. (2010). All for one, and one for all. Globe and Mail.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, October 31). Social Identity and Multicultural Solidarity. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/social-identity-and-multicultural-solidarity/

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Social Identity and Multicultural Solidarity." October 31, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/social-identity-and-multicultural-solidarity/.

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