Discuss how Germany, England and Norway believe multiculturalism is a threat to their society.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has declared the death of multiculturalism in Germany, saying that it had "failed utterly" and the British PM said that “the U.K. needs a stronger national identity to prevent people turning to extremism.” Also, Norway recently declared their opinion against the multiculturalism.
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There are a couple of elements here to dissect. The first would be that I don't think that any of these nations have actively declared through legal means that multiculturalism is a threat to their society. The Merkel speech was seen by many as a nod to the conservative elements in her party and not one that she actively embraces. Merkel's past has also called for acceptance of mosques. The speech spoke to the idea of new immigrants embracing the "German" notion of customs and traditions. The same analysis is present for the British PM's statements. Both nations need immigration and need an open policy that embraces multiculturalism for their economic viability in a stagnant business world. This is no different than the conservative forces in America that rail against immigration. The expression of political opinion in the context of discourse does not necessarily reflect that these nations view multiculturalism as a threat or something that needs to be eliminated. It simply seeks to speak to the idea of different voices in a social setting regarding the changing notion of national identity in a multicultural world.
In discussing Norway, I don't think that the recent shootings can be seen as a national expression of anti- multiculturalism. In fact, even right wing groups in Norway have been distancing themselves from Anders Behring Breivik. Given the horrific nature of the shootings, I don't see mainstream Norwegians coming out in support of Anders Behring Breivik. They seems to be disavowing both he and his views. This could actually speak louder to being pro- multiulturalism than against it. The shooting might galvanize the opinion that Norwegians have of themselves as "embracing openness." In this light, I don't see what happened in Norway as a statement of a national position on multiculturalism.
What is happening in these nations is a seeking of identity. Globalization and the dissipation of national borders in the construction of national identity is challenging because it presents something so new, for which there is no handbook. There are elements in these societies, and in all social orders, where there is fear of "the other." With the Anders Behring Breivik shooting and fear of terrorism around the world, this is escalating. Yet, globalization, technology transfer of information, as well as the marketplace which is one predicated upon a "borderless" world are all making multiculturalism a reality, one that cannot be resisted, but rather into which national identity has to be injected.
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