Social Question

beautifulbobby193's avatar

Is there anything wrong with not wanting a multicultural society?

Asked by beautifulbobby193 (1699points) November 24th, 2009
35 responses
“Great Question” (12points)

Being from Ireland, the Ireland I know and love is not a multicultural society. What I love about Ireland is its purity; of going there and experiencing unspoiled Irish cultures and tradition. When I was younger I would rarely even see a black person in the street. Our local newsagents even sold “Golly” (ice-cream) bars and these were available nationwide.

Having moved to the UK I have found that it is far more multi-cultural. I always feel that when differences in religious beliefs are involved it is more difficult for societies (at large) to integrate and get along together. Groups sharing common religious beliefs or cultures will often stick together, and some religions even look down upon non-believers.

Is there anything wrong with not wanting mass immigration and wishing to have a single culture living in unity? Religion may be fast becoming of less importance in the modern developed world as science increasingly becomes the trusted source, but is there anything wrong with wanting an unspoilt Irish/English culture or traditional society?

Observing members: 0
Composing members: 0


BBSDTfamily's avatar

I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting this type of society. You value the traditions of your culture, and of course it must be nice for you to have the option of living in a place where almost everyone shares your beliefs, values, and traditions. It’s likely that it won’t always continue to exist, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with prefering that.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I think that attitude is justified. I think any country has the sovereign right to deny immigration from whoever they choose. It is one thing to preserve a culture, and another to pretend that all others are inferior. You can appreciate a culture while not wanting to experience it each day.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, there’s something wrong with the notion of wanting an unspoilt culture, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to preserve one’s own culture and to embrace peaceful coexistence. In fact, cultures not being influenced by other cultures are virtually nonexistent (the few exceptions might be tribes in Brazil or Papua New Guinea).

Your Irish culture that you rightly cherish has been influenced by many other cultures over numerous decades and centuries. Your Christmas tree in Ireland may have found its way from Germany and the Baltic States to the British Royal Family at Windsor Castle and eventually on to Ireland, see

There are hundreds of examples like that. Indians and the Arabs brought the number 0 to Europe. Decimal numbers (a blessing) originated in China. The fiddle of traditional Irish music also had its origins in India and might have found its way to Europe via Peria, see

Did all this spoil Irish culture? What about cars in Ireland? At the time, some might have argued that this newfangled dubious German invention destroys the traditional use of horses in Ireland.

What we should be worried about is creating a single global culture, a nondescript amalgam that becomes the very same in every country in the world. Should we really listen to the very same kind of pop music everywhere? Should all global companies follow the same rules in every country they operate in? Some people in Spain don’t like it if an American company operating in their country limits lunch breaks to 1 hour, because this is how it’s done in the US. Or even worse expect people to take a brown bag to their desk because going to the lunch cafeteria seen as a waste of time. Should McDonald’s have an employee of the month everywhere?

I don’t think so. Cultural diversity is a strength and we should respect and appreciate the differences. We should not see them as something that spoils something else. Very often people of different cultures can complement each other wonderfully.

Last comment: science as a rightly trusted source cannot replace religions or any other form of spirituality and morality framework. Neither can religions replace science.

YARNLADY's avatar

You can always refuse to eat potatoes or speak anything but Goídelc, and didn’t the religion of which you speak come from the Romans? In my memory there was dreadful fighting going on between the Catholics and the Protestants, the have’s and the have nots. To go back to the sheep raising, wool wearing, leather sandle era would be impossible.

jrpowell's avatar

Burritos are delicious.

ragingloli's avatar

Döner taste better.

amnorvend's avatar

Let me just say this: change takes adjustment. It’s really easy to have a negative reaction the first time you experience something different. My suggestion is to give it some time before you come to the conclusion that you don’t like mixed cultures.

And do give it an honest try. You never know, you may come to like diversity.

nebule's avatar

I understand where you are coming from @beautifulbobby193 totally… but I also agree a great deal with @mattbrowne. I think the problem lies in when the immigrant culture starts to take over the original culture rather than the ideal of true integration… I don’t actually see a lot of this in terms of religion but i guess like mattbrowne says there are a lot of things that we don’t overtly recognise as integration of cultures…

jfos's avatar

Where to begin…

First of all, I’m just going to throw out there that your use of the word unspoilt is disgusting.

Second, you can have a unicultural society somewhere and still have different colored people. Culture and ethnicity are separate. Maybe I’m just not a big nationalist—Earth didn’t form its own lines on the map. Maybe you are provincial and just want to go back to the “good old days”.

As for your ”wanting an unspoilt Irish/English culture or traditional society”, the profits of the slave trade and of West Indian plantations amounted to 5% of the British economy at the time of the Industrial Revolution (Wikipedia: Slavery). So who spoilt whom?

nebule's avatar

fwiw I don’t think @beautifulbobby193 intended ‘unspoilt’ to have the connotations it clearly has been interpreted as having

jfos's avatar

And I think I serve as an unbiased viewpoint, I am of roughly 50% Irish and 25% English descent.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I don’t know how old you are @beautifulbobby193 but I do think that your way of thinking here is very old fashioned. “When I was younger I would rarely see a black person in the street” sounds like something my great grandmother would say!

I’m not sure what my opinion is here. On one hand I understand your pride for your culture and wanting to keep certain traditions going, all cultures want to do that and there are many people that still hold their culture’s values true even when they don’t live in the traditional country of said culture. I can also understand why you feel that your countries traditions may be watered down in order to accomodate new arrivals from other countries and I sometimes feel sad myself when I see this happening. However, the fact that you now see more black people on the street should do nothing to harm your culture. I doubt very much that immigrants expect the country they are moving to to change their traditions to accomodate them.

Live and let live I say. You can continu to celebrate your culture while others celebrate theirs. Providing everyone is respectful of each other then it shouldn’t be a problem. Multicultural societies are often very interesting places to live in and I, for one, have learnt a lot since moving to a more multicultural city.

Long story short, I don’t think you are wrong but I do think that maybe you could open your mind a little more to the world and it’s people. There is life outside of Ireland and the UK.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

You are mistaken if you think your culture has remained ‘pure’ over the centuries – you’re further mistaken that having one culture around you leads to unity…oh and mentioning something black people never being around…honey, that’s about racism, your racism, than about culture…

Ivan's avatar

Yeah, the word “unspoilt” pretty much ruins your whole argument here. Also, Simone wins.

AstroChuck's avatar

You’re probably going to want to avoid the US.

Judi's avatar

In the 60’s in the US they called it , “Separate but equal.” It didn’t work out to well here.

tinyfaery's avatar

The idea of a pure culture is a misnomer. You should learn your own history, including it’s racist ties.

For my answer, I say how fuckin’ boring. What I love about L.A. Is that it is multicultural. I get to learn about all people and experience their culture. The cultures on earth are as unique and beautiful as a snowflake. They are individually perfect, but you need many to make snow.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Nothing wrong with it but take religions out of the picture and you will still have peoples shaped by their geography and resources. I happen to think that part is interesting.
There are still private islands for sale.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@tinyfaery Too right. GA.

wundayatta's avatar

Well, I think there is something wrong with only wanting a uni-cultural society. It’s like committing suicide. Without cross-fertilization of idea, a culture will die because it won’t be able to keep up. Anyone who is anti-immigrant is either ignorant or suicidal, or both.

In my country (the US), there is another reason that being anti-immigrant is pretty stupid. The birthrate for white middle class people is sinking like the proverbial stone. If we don’t encourage immigration, we are all going to end up cleaning our own diapers in the nursing home when we’re 80 years old.

Preservation of culture, as @mattbrowne pointed out is a whole ‘nother issue. I am fully in favor of trying to preserve cultural traditions as much as possible. But not to the point of committing suicide.

beautifulbobby193's avatar

I think bringing suicide into this is going completely off topic. Immigration should only be encouraged where it is sustainable.

wundayatta's avatar

@beautifulbobby193 It’s an effin simile. Get your head in the game!

mattbrowne's avatar

@lynneblundell – I agree that the intentions for the use of unspoilt might have been different. Some people are rightly afraid of a uniform nondescript worldwide amalgam. When I travel to Ireland I want to drink local red ale and not German Löwenbräu or American Coors. And I don’t want to listen to music that is popular in every discotheque in the world.

But I think we are doing @beautifulbobby193 a favor of pointing out the dangers of words like unspoilt in this context. It’s a good example why understanding history is so important.

We are your friends @beautifulbobby193 – It’s great to have you on Fluther.

beautifulbobby193's avatar

Matt Browne, I think what needs to be pointed out how condescending you sound. (“It’s a good example why understanding history is so important”). Does it make you feel good? I hope so.

“When I travel to Ireland I want to drink local red ale and not German Löwenbräu or American Coors. And I don’t want to listen to music that is popular in every discotheque in the world”.

I think this sums up what I am getting at. I am all for development and foreign influences, but sometimes it’s nice to know there is still a place you can go on this earth and experience a taste of the culture and tradition one is used to and has grown up with.

nayeight's avatar

@beautifulbobby193 So… let me get this straight. Are you saying that you would prefer there be no people of color in Ireland? Because in your opinion they are spoiling Irish culture? Thats all I want to know.

John6273's avatar

I always laugh at the term “multi-cultural” It is like saying that there is something out there that exists that we cannot possibly know or have.

Personally, I would just do away with the word. Everyone has their own ways of dong things. Yea, there should be some dominate societal aspects, like a common language and common laws, but other than that, everyone should have their own way of achieving their own desires. So what if one person wants to eat Tempura and another wants to eat Tacos. We take that and make them out to be different cultures, so we pat ourselves on the back for being “multi-cultural.” But this only breeds an us vs. them attitude.

Ok. So I like hamburgers, Joe Blow over there likes tacos and you like tempura. Does that make us multi-cultural? Only in a narrow culture. Personally, I prefer thinking that a culture is big enough to allow many modes of expression, many ways of fulfilling our needs. A true culture would not need to claim it is “multi-cultural” simply because it is big enough to allow for so many varied expressions within it.

Keep it to one language, so we can all understand one another, and one set of laws, so we all know the rules we have to follow. Beyond that, I say, anything goes!

mattbrowne's avatar

@beautifulbobby193 – It was not my intention to sound condescending. In fact, I was a bit worried because of the great many comments the ‘unspoilt’ aspect of your question generated. I agreed with @lynneblundell that the real issue might be somewhat different. Well, I guess my trying to help did the opposite. Sorry if I offended you.

faye's avatar

We, as Canadians, are now supposed to say ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas’ so as not to offend non Christians. I am all for multiculturism but I also think the original country should keep many of its beliefs, one being freedom of expression.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@faye really don’t see how saying Happy Holidays, an inclusive term, is oppressing your freedom of expressing “Merry Christmas”, an exclusive term

faye's avatar

The “country” has urged us to say “happy Holidays”, and no doubt I wrote the answer wrong.

Siren's avatar

I grew up in a community which was all of one race, one religion and one lifestyle. My parents were from another, but we “integrated” well. As I got older, the community changed radically: people of other cultures started settling in. At first I was rather unhappy with the changes, because it’s not how I remembered my childhood: The front lawns looked different, there wasn’t much unity anymore with holiday decorations. But it was all superficial. And after a while, I found it amusing to see people walking down my street wearing foreign dress. Change can be sad if there is sentimental value attached to the “changed”, but it can also be really good, if you embrace it and take it in stride.

If you feel Ireland’s unique culture, history and heritage is slowly eroding, maybe you can help preserve it by joining or getting involved in local restoration organizations and committees. It could be empowering and help you to realize that a lot of Ireland will always have that uniqueness in its architecture and history which brings a lot of tourists from all around the world to visit.

faye's avatar

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to preserve particular cultures. It enriches me to learn about others’ beliefs.

ninjacolin's avatar

a non-diverse atmosphere certainly would be something to look at. it’s a cool thing to have but it’s not worth protecting with violence.

NewZen's avatar

Nope. Naive, but nothing worng with it. Pass me a couple of Utopias with a side of Atantis, please.

Answer this question




to answer.

Mobile | Desktop

Send Feedback