Do you live in a mono-cultural or multi-cultural society?. Often we find it difficult to define. What is a mono- cultural society?
Most experts agree that the essential traits of a mono-cultural society are a common heritage, belief structure, language and usually a mono-racial identity. Since we live in a more globalized World, many of our societies are essentially multi-cultural. But still many of today’s societies still share the common traits of a mono-cultural society.
What are these common traits?
1. A common heritage
The historical heritage of the society could be based on a perception that the nations, food, language, attitudes, racial features and religious beliefs are an essential element to the nations identity.
2. A shared belief structure
The majority of the citizens of a country have a shared belief structure, based on the nation’s heritage. These beliefs form the national identity, and ‘psyche,’ which create to many a stronger bonded society, but to detractors a nation which loses out on the benefits of a multi-cultural ethnic society.
3. An inward looking ‘psyche’
To many, mono-cultural societies tend to look inwards, rather than outwards, and this can show in the nation’s culture. Television programs and news tends to be locally centered, and the cultures identity heavily promoted. A degree of ignorance of the outside World is often a product of looking inwards.
4. A suspicion of “foreigners”
The ‘psyche” of a mono-cultural society often can be suspicious towards “foreigners,” and unacceptable of their beliefs. This could lead to discouraging multi-cultural partnerships, to a ‘ghetto’ mentality of separating cultures through the areas they can live.
5. Common religious values
Whilst in some societies religion is seen as being less important, other cultures see it as part of their national or ethnic identity. A strong mono-cultural official religion often is a strong trait of a this type of society..
Citizens of strong multi-cultural societies tend to be more tribal when they live outside their own culture. Multi- cultural marriages are unacceptable, the neighbors, the food and even the workplace tends to be ‘tribal.” – the influence of the new society lessened by this strong cultural bond, between others who share it.
7. Purchasing Goods
Mono- cultural societies tend to support their own products, rather than purchase products from other nations. They tend to be proud of their industries, and economic achievements- encouraging buying nationally produced products over others. This is beneficial in a recession, but in an expanding economy can hinder the choice consumers have.
Mono-cultural societies tend to feel safer, as long as you are identified as “one of the group,” but also conservative when it comes to accepting change. Whilst threatened, these societies tend to bond together faster, but also can be guilty of the worse types of ethnic abuse.
Historic examples could be the Armenian holocaust by Turkey, or the past bloodshed in the Balkans, and Rwanda- Events that generally do not occur in more modern multi-ethnic societies, which accept the differences in ideas, and beliefs.
Recessions often create a more mono-cultural outlook in societies, were suddenly even in multi-cultural societies fault lines can appear- often in the guise of competition for jobs and economic rights. However despite economic hardship, without the color, music and openness of a multi-cultural society- we would live in a very dull and limited World.