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The Concept of Multiculturalism

The multinational liaisons are becoming a widely practiced phenomenon in terms of modern society. However, the concept of multiculturalism is indeed a complex issue to examine due to outmoded and inhuman customs to which some immigrant families are strongly committed. Theodore Dalrymple is a retired physician who shared his professional experience in the 1995 article, which undermines the belief that all cultural assets are compatible.

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The author’s main argument indicates that an amicable settlement of the immigrant and native cultures might be both coherent and controversial because of “different cultural standards, beliefs, and expectations” (Dalrymple, par. 6). Such an argument is supported by several striking examples of female adolescents who faced severe challenges in dealing with the issues of schooling, profession, and relationships.

Dalrymple shares the stories of young girls that desperately managed to balance on the verge of the respect of the community and Western idea of individualism and tolerance. A 16-year-old Muslim girl was forced to marry her cousin without any opportunity to continue her education and evolve as a journalist. Another teenage girl tried to hang herself because of her marriage with a cruel and abusing husband and a non-supportive mother.

Girls whose parents locked them down in their homes for years were prevented from attending school to exclude any social interaction before the arranged marriage. Furthermore, religious tolerance amongst the same nationality could have some life-threatening outcomes, as in the case of a young Sikh boy and a Muslim girl. Each of these stories contradicts “the multiculturalist vision of the good society” (Dalrymple, par. 2). I agree with the argument that Dalrymple interprets by revealing the true nature of the immigrants’ behavioral patterns he observed while working in the slum.

From my point of view, one might relate to the Dalrymple’s message, which implies that the reality differs from the concept of intolerance that multiculturalism and the host society should address. I support the author’s vision because he did not underestimate the culture of his patients and their families. He instead emphasized the importance of their own beliefs to prevent themselves and their community from the social devastation.

One of the philosophical concepts that can be applied here is Charles Taylor’s perception of society based on deep diversity and his politics of recognition. Taylor believes that people determine their identity in coordination with or in the struggle against the aspects their partners want to see in them. In addition, the philosopher focuses on the crucial role of cultures within human involvement and the development of their identity.

Taylor claims that it is vital to accept the presumption of equal value of all cultures, which is relevant to Dalrymple’s argument about the critical contribution on the side of immigrants. However, the physician proved that they enrich native cultures by addition. Considering the notion of authenticity, Taylor interprets it as a collective sense, where cultures also have their “unique authentic essences” (Seglow 161).

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Taylor’s concept and Dalrymple’s argument give grounds to believe that cultures need recognition within their authentic distinctiveness. The politics of recognition implies that cultural communities and legal standards are dynamically interrelated. Thus, Dalrymple states that it is a complicated issue to root the society without any cultural or philosophical presuppositions or to treat them all in equal measure. However, many facets of the culture the immigrants try to preserve are inconsistent with the norms of liberal democracy, as well as a legal and philosophical basis.

Works Cited

Dalrymple, Theodore. “Reader, She Married Him — Alas.City Journal, 1995. Web.

Seglow, Jonathan. “Multiculturalism.” Political concepts, edited by Richard Bellamy and Andrew Mason, Manchester University Press, 2018, pp. 156–168.

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