Multiculturalism literature review
Question: With reference to relevant literature on the subject, assess the positives and negatives of the British approach to multiculturalism.
Definition of multiculturalism.
Outline of the purpose of a literature review. Highlight the main sources of literature on the subject. Proposed research methodology and techniques of research collection.
Following this, the introduction will very briefly outline the general historical approach to multiculturalism as undertaken by successive British governments, i.e. focus on increased cultural difference and the celebration of difference in society.
Outline of the primary thesis: the work will argue that the British approach to multiculturalism as merely served to intensify social and ethnic divisions. The willingness to celebrate diversity has thus resulted in a failure to form a cohesive common identity. Recent government attempts to instil a concept of ‘Britishness’ within the immigration service should thus be commended.
Main Body: Using relevant literature, detailed assessment of the British approach to multiculturalism from the 1960s to the present day.
Assessment of the positives of British multiculturalism policy
- Increased cultural diversity
- Increased potential for the acceptance of differences in ethnic, religious and cultural identities.
- Potentially avoids problems relating to increased ethnic tension from being forced to accept a common national identity, case study example: France.
Assessment of the negatives of British multiculturalism policy
- Dilutes the possibility of effective social cohesion at the national level.
- Directly leads to the formation of separate and distinct cultural and ethnic communities.
- Celebration of difference does nothing to engender collective identity.
Conclusion: Reassertion of the primary thesis in light of the further investigation undertaken.
Initial list of sources: To be built on extensively with books and journal articles.
Bagguley, P & Hussain, Y (2008) Righteous Citizens: ethnic conflict in multicultural Britain. London: Ashgate.
Flint, J (2008) Community Cohesion in Crisis: new dimensions of diversity and difference. London: Policy Press.
Meien, J (2007) The Multiculturalism vs. Integration Debate in Great Britain. London: GRIN.
Pathik, P (2008) The Future of Multicultural Britain: confronting the progressive dilemma. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Schain, M (2008) The Politics of Immigration in France, Britain and the United States: a comparative study. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Wignall, P (2002) Multicultural Britain. London: Heinemann.
Title: If you were able to reform the education system in Britain, what form would it take? Use the ideas and theories of philosophers, sociologists and psychologists to support your answer.
Introduction: Outline of the historical evolution of UK’s education system, in particular the transition from three tier post war system to the comprehensive system.
Outline of primary thesis and argument:
Major Change: increased focus on common forms of identity and overt removal of religious focus in education. Thus, heavy emphasis on secularism in the education system.
Main Body: The main thesis will argue in favour of overt secularism in the British education system. Through reference to psychological thinkers such as Bentham (2002) and Legge & Harari (2000), it will be clearly shown that psychological methods of teaching are capable of ensuring that learning outcomes can achieve an effective integration of cultural differences. This assessment will then be extended to highlight the assumptions of philosophers like John Locke. In particular, Locke’s understanding of education as being central to the formation of effective mental processes in later life will inform the idea that secularism is the best approach to undertake.
Finally, the work of sociologist Emile Durkheim will be utilised as a means of highlighting how secular education is the best educational approach available.
Conclusion: Reassertion of the primary thesis and summing up of arguments made throughout the course of the work.
Bentham, S (2002) Psychology and Education. London: Routledge.
Legge, K & Harari, P (2000) Psychology and Education. London: Heinemann.