the monument to multiculturalism
. four identical sculptures are located in buffalo city
, south africa
; in changchun
; in sarajevo
and in sydney
the term multiculturalism has a range of meanings within the contexts of sociology, of political philosophy, and of colloquial use. in sociology and in everyday usage, it is a synonym for "ethnic pluralism", with the two terms often used interchangeably, for example, a cultural pluralism in which various ethnic groups collaborate and enter into a dialogue with one another without having to sacrifice their particular identities. it can describe a mixed ethnic community area where multiple cultural traditions exist (such as new york city) or a single country within which they do (such as switzerland, belgium or russia). groups associated with an indigenous or autochthonous ethnic group and foreigner ethnic groups are often the focus.
in reference to sociology, multiculturalism is the end-state of either a natural or artificial process (for example: legally-controlled immigration) and occurs on either a large national scale or on a smaller scale within a nation's communities. on a smaller scale this can occur artificially when a jurisdiction is established or expanded by amalgamating areas with two or more different cultures (e.g. french canada and english canada). on a large scale, it can occur as a result of either legal or illegal migration to and from different jurisdictions around the world (for example, anglo-saxon settlement of britain by angles, saxons and jutes in the 5th century or the colonization of the americas by europeans, africans and asians since the 16th century).
in reference to political science, multiculturalism can be defined as a states capacity to effectively and efficiently deal with cultural plurality within its sovereign borders. multiculturalism as a political philosophy involves ideologies and policies which vary widely. it has been described as a "salad bowl" and as a "cultural mosaic", in contrast to a "melting pot".