Virtual Event – at the University of Ottawa
31 July, 2020 – 3-5 p.m
Cultural pluralism is a term used when smaller groups within a larger society maintain their unique cultural identities, whereby their values and practices are accepted by the dominant culture, provided such are consistent with the laws and values of the wider society. As a sociological term, the definition and description of cultural pluralism has evolved over time. It has been described as not only a fact but a societal goal. Hamed Kazemzadeh from Academic club for peace and conflict studies, today talked about these issues in our global arena.
He said that In a pluralist culture, groups not only coexist side by side, but also consider qualities of other groups as traits worth having in the dominant culture. Pluralistic societies place strong expectations of integration on members, rather than expectations of assimilation. The existence of such institutions and practices is possible if the cultural communities are accepted by the larger society in a pluralist culture and sometimes require the protection of the law. Often the acceptance of a culture may require that the new or minority culture remove some aspects of their culture which is incompatible with the laws or values of the dominant culture.
at the end, he highlighted that Cultural pluralism is distinct from multiculturalism, which lacks the requirement of a dominant culture. If the dominant culture is weakened, societies can easily pass from cultural pluralism into multiculturalism without any intentional steps being taken by that society. If communities function separately from each other, or compete with one another, they are not considered culturally pluralistic. for example in 1971, the Canadian government referred to cultural pluralism, as opposed to multiculturalism, as the “very essence” of the nation’s identity. Cultural pluralism can be practiced at varying degrees by a group or an individual. A prominent example of pluralism is 20th-century United States, in which a dominant culture with strong elements of nationalism, a sporting culture, and an artistic culture contained also smaller groups with their own ethnic, religious, and cultural norms.