- August 20, 2012
- Posted by: essay
- Category: Free essays
Actuality of the problem of multiculturalism is determined by the row of moments. Presently cross-cultural integration processes activate within the framework of world association. In this connection gradually a question about the phenomenon of co-operation of cultures becomes popular. What degree does the active aspiring to the association generate a “pendulum recoil”¯ in from integration toward localization and fragmentation of cultures? Where is that border violation of which generates the aggression of representatives of dominant culture in relation to the representatives of “another”¯ cultural traditions? Is there space, intruding in which is forbidden to “another”¯ culture?
The problem of co-operation of cultures is inherent for all societies. Often nascent international conflicts within the framework of one state confirm actuality of the problem of co-operation between nationalities and between cultures within the framework of other states.
Opposition of Ireland and England within the framework of Great Britain, Kurd’s conflicts in Turkey and Iraq, contradictions between Basques’ and Spanish’s, a chain of conflicts on the Balkan peninsula are examples of cross-cultural conflicts, raising a question about the methods of achievement of cultural unity and homogeneity inwardly multicultural and multinational societies. Thus, the problem of multiculturalism unites in itself different conceptions and searches for answers on questions that face today all world associations.
Especially important this problem became for America. After tragic events in the USA at the beginning of XXI century it becomes obvious that the world “changed”¯. It caused the necessity of next revision of withstand approaches not only for political and practical spheres, but also in area of theory. Along with political paradigms begin to be exposed to the doubt conceptions in area of theory of culture. A location in science some from them is gradually displaced from dominant, which they occupied during practically the whole XX centuries, on periphery. Questions, worked out within the framework of the problems of multiculturalism are today pulled out on the first plan. Having high meaningfulness for American scientific thought during all history of existence of the United States of America, presently they pay their attention on a world scale. The central theme of modern American multicultural debate is become by the problem of self-identification in the conditions of co-operation of cultures.
In a center of our research we can see forming reasons and genesis of problem of multiculturalism in the context of development of the American humanist idea, selection of its socio-historical pre-conditions and ideological sources. The similar raising of problem gives possibility to give a glance on consisting of culturological idea of the USA of its dynamic becoming, allows to understand that resulted in appearance of the phenomenon of multiculturalism, what tendencies were instrumental in its isolation and selection in the independent area of research. Such statements explain plugging in this work along with conceptions of the American culturological idea of the XX century, philosophical works of XIX centuries as researches, preparing the ground for an origin and development of the phenomenon of multiculturalism.
There are many contradictory processes in modern world reality are observed: tendency to globalization, aspiring to the association of cultures, from the one hand, and traction to localization, isolation, from the other hand. The similar phenomena presents a reflection “through centuries”¯ at more scale level of processes that became the inalienable line of such cross-cultural association, as the United States.
Then, what the world ran into, included in the third millennium, there is a problem the decision of which the American researchers and thinkers are engaged in during the big period of time. Primordial existence for American scientific consciousness of the problem of life of great number of cultures within the limits of the single state, correlation them within the framework of single socio-political integrity, generating the origin of great number of conceptions, decision the problem of multiculturalism, and explains an appeal in the real research to the theoretical and cultural idea of the United States of America.
The ambiguousness of understanding of problem of multiculturalism in modern science, supposing the most different spheres of its application, generates numerous research approaches. The analysis of literature shows on the issue of multiculturalism that in modern science to date single confessedly interpretations of this concept is not yet mine-out. The variety of interpretations of multiculturalism is explained that it is in the epicenter of different approaches in the comprehension of questions of interrelation and co-operation of cultures.
According to Putnam (2007) “Multiculturalism is the acceptance or promotion of multiple ethnic cultures, for practical reasons and/or for the sake of diversity and applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g. schools, businesses, neighborhoods, cities or nations. In this context, multiculturalists advocate extending equitable status to distinct ethnic and religious groups without promoting any specific ethnic, religious, and/or cultural community values as central.”¯
On the whole, in spite of the fact that the certain amount of scientific publications and practical developments, deep analysis of sources of the problem of multiculturalism is devoted a lot of publications in press, its kinds and conceptions, and also the social and cultural layer of its functioning in the dynamics of development is presented not enough.
Multiculturalism in the USA as the social-historical phenomenon possesses the following specific features: multiculturalism is the primordial historically predefined method of existence of American society; the cultural and historical processes of the USA are characterized by the pendulosity of motion from aspiring to achievement of cultural unity to underlining of cultural variety, that generates the dynamics of the phenomenon of the American cultural identity.
World view and theoretical pre-conditions of becoming of problem of American multiculturalism we can consider: moving of scientific interest from the European culture to another culture, awareness of their equivalent; theoretical revision of a withstand hierarchy between European and by another cultures; actualization of question of co-operation of cultures both at local level and within the limits of single cross-cultural society.
The concept of multiculturalism, actively functioning in modern American scientific humanistic thought, does not have the synonymous semantic filling till today. In its interpretation it is possible to select two opposite tendencies: use of this term as a synonym of Ā«cultural pluralismĀ», supposing the variety of self-sufficient cultures the coexistence of which conduces to fragmentation of single culture, and understanding of multiculturalism in sense of coexistence and active co-operation of great number of minority cultures. Existent looks at the problem of multiculturalism are presented conceptually.
Ā«Society of varietyĀ» -it is one of determinations that reflect the essence of the United States of America as the state consisting from contrasts. It is society, in which different cultures, races, ways of life, systems of values and ideals, interlace whimsically. American civilization that is named the civilization of various langueges to the certain degree unique in the ability to create in the earliest possible dates single viable, powerful, though inwardly the contradictory state.
One of distinguishing features of American consciousness consists in dualism of uniformity and multiplicity. Motto of “Š• pluribus unum”¯ ”“ “From the many to one”¯ – most expressly determines the characteristic features of the USA as multiethnic, multicultural society, combining in itself a variety and unity, heterogeneity and monolithic nature. American scientist Russon (2003) speaks to the metaphor of Ā«crucibleĀ», underlining in such a way the ethnic and cultural variety of components, constituents of American nation. “American culture, – he writes, – distinguishes combination of the followings personal touches: consciousness of distinctions of biological and cultural origin, “spirit of border”¯, anxiety from disparities of theory and practice of culture”¯. In opinion of Salter (2007)”“ the main features of the American culture, put into it practically from the day of foundation of the USA, consists not so much in its “physical”¯ finding on the joint of two civilizations, how many, above all things, in a state of unhomogenity and the protracted expectation of offensive of synthesis.
Feeling of general distinctions in single accompanies this nation with different attempts of self-identification that has deep historical roots.
Forming of American society by mixing of ethnocultural groups of immigration in the maximum compressed term quite often is considered researchers as a scale historical experiment the major purpose of which consisted in the association of heterogeneous, at times “non-miscible”¯ components in single unit. Reason of appearance of American nation was become by moving of streams of representatives of different ethnocultural community of people, entailing the necessity of their active co-operation and interpenetration. However, much a cultural variety characterized the American continent and before, to arrival of colonists’ time from Europe and African slaves. So, in 1500 a quantity of native inhabitants of North America was 4,5 million. All layers of “Native Americans”¯ already to that period were separate on hundreds of tribes, each of which possessed an original culture, beliefs and language.
Awareness of primordial heterogeneity and at the same time of necessity of creation, and afterwards and maintenances of internal monolithic nature of the state, generates duality of American ethnocultural consciousness. Thus, aspiring to the homogeneity, prevailing on the early stages of origin of the USA, appears the necessary mean of maintenance of its integrity during the protracted period of time, up to XX century.
One of the key features of America is put in the historical circumstances of creation and development of the country. Ā«Multicultural America is the product of mixing of different people during a few centuries in that space that now is called the USA. The phenomenon of immigration, becoming inalienable part of history of origin of American nation, largely influenced on forming of its specific descriptions, entering the huge variety of ethnic cultures in American society. As Vavrus (2002) marks, four basic migratory streams meet in the new state, different from each other the origin, character of cultural traditions, arrival time and degree of influence on American culture. Thus, concordantly to Gottfried (2002), in the conditions of the single state there is not their final confluence and dissolution in each other. But however, according to Gottfried (2002) on such conditions it is succeeded to avoid inevitable disconnection of multicultural society, not in the last turn by creation of new national originality, possessing specific lines, allowing combining into a great “deal in single”¯. The basic setting, operating during satisfied great while, loses force only practically to the middle of the XX century. Consisting not so much in aspiring to the maintenance of variety of ethnocultural traditions and the family to “canning”¯ them, how many in aspiring to precipitating of the new single American culture, it appeared actually the unique force, able to retain the United States in unity. By tradition of the American culture, as well as American society on the whole, a tendency becomes to interfusion of ethnocultural variety that in principle is the personal touch of America yet since the first streams of immigration from Western Europe.
Due to the permanent influx of representatives of different ethnocultural groups, for Americans from the beginning the special actuality is acquired by the problem of self-identification. In determination of single cultural policy of the American state and in the processes of forming of the dominant system of values and cultural priorities an especially important role of the certain stage the factor of arrival of migratory stream time plays the on territory of New World. So, the representatives of western part of the European continent appear one of the first layers of immigration. Values and ideals, brought from the Old World and planted on new soil, until now remain certain foundation which the phenomenon of the American culture lines up on. A considerable role in forming of the American state is taken British traditions, brought to the New World from the British islands. Originally sufficing influence of Anglo-Saxon traditions shows up on the north-west of the USA, afterwards their influence spreads on the whole territory of the state. Along with dominant influence of the English culture, Scottish, Irish, Welshman traditions get in a continuum. Among reasons which destroy the British legacy on the first plan in forming of the American culture, besides time of settling on a new continent, it is possible to name considerable weight in quantitative composition of immigration, point-of-sale and industrial power of Britain as compared to the row of the European states (such, as, for example, Holland – one of the first colonists of north part of the American continent; France, Spain and others.) Influence of the British standard which the American culture is created on spreads on bases of the political system and rule, legal-legal base, religion, aesthetic values, and lifestyle.
Saying about multicultural perspectives we can emphasize that today most states even aught differ a cultural variety. Trade, tourism, international dialog of scientists and figures of art, mobility of skilled specialists and migration, result in that good few of people, belonging to other cultures lives in most countries. Practically it is everywhere possible to meet the representatives of even one cultural minority – foreign tourists and businessmen. Many countries today is possible to name varied in a cultural plan already because they are opened the outer world – the representatives of any people can there freely to arrive, depart, and sometimes and to remain.
However, much the problem of multiculturalism arises up preeminently because many people want to remain in a country in which they arrived. Preeminently a question gets up in this connection: what degree can a cultural variety be considered to acceptable and to behave to him tolerantly and how to provide harmony in these terms? When within the framework of one society people coexist with different cultural traditions, it is necessary to decide the row of problems, to provide clear and arranging all the rules of dormitory. So, a general consent is required not only in relation to that, what codes of conduct to consider acceptable or obligatory in public places but also what questions can be legitimately considered the prerogative of the state. It is necessary to define, for example, public discussions must be conducted in what language, what holidays are acknowledged officially, how a man must look and behave on public, and also to outline the circle of rights and duties of individuals and associations.
In a theoretical plan classic liberal multiculturalism is absolutely successive conception. If in our analysis we not mistake against logic, then this conception has the brightly expressed features and it can be without effort positioned in relation to other variants of liberal multiculturalism and in general all to other political conceptions. However in the world of the real policy scarcely there will be possibility for its practical embodiment. The point is that fully the neutral in a moral and cultural plan political mode does not exist in nature. The world, incarnate in classic liberal conception of multiculturalism, differs interpreted literally absence of any political mode. This conception can be named “anarchic multiculturalism”¯. However, such situation not only improbable in principle but also strikingly differs from that situation which we live in.
An obvious question flows out from the previous statement: what does the actuality and benefit of our analysis of theoretical bases of multiculturalism consist on the whole and classic liberal multiculturalism in particular? An answer sounds so: idea of multiculturalism, in a that degree, in what it reflects philosophical position, but not simply concrete political course, and in a that degree, in what it talks about the necessity of confession, but not suppressions of cultural variety, signifies by itself walking away from different of other points of view in behalf on conception of the opened society. A classic liberal variant, expounded in this paper is a “eventual stop”¯ of policy of multiculturalism. And although none of the really existent modes, perhaps, will not want or not able to create, and the more so to save the similar form of organization of society, to my mind, of some use to know to what the theory of multiculturalism conducts preeminently. A benefit here consists in that we understand expressly: a decision to be stopped for some other segment of way to multiculturalism becomes the result of influence of concrete cultural values, acquiring an enormous practical and political value at certain terms, but from point of multiculturalism not having a serious theoretical ground.