Multiculturalism in the West
More ideas for consideration about the relevance of multiculturalism in the context of internationalism. This is an excerpt of a “Talk of the Town” article by Jane Kramer in the current issue of The New Yorker.
“Every country with an influx of migrant workers had to scramble toward some sort of social formula to absorb them (or, as often as not, pretend that they werent there). And before long those formulas had frozen into easy, and, not surprisingly, competing, certaintiesall of which have turned out to be as shortsighted as the government-sponsored agents who first combed Africa and Asia and the Indian subcontinent recruiting labor for Europes postwar factories. There was the British multicultural modelor, to put it perhaps more accurately, the You will never be us model. There was the Well support you, but please be invisible until you are us Scandinavian model. There was the integrated but not assimilated oxymoron called the Dutch model. There was the Youre guest workers, so youll be going home German modelwhich, until the late nineties, put off even the possibility of citizenship for most immigrants and their children. Everyone had something to contribute to this debate: the social theorists and social planners and social workers and politicians and, of course, the people who hated immigrantseveryone but the immigrants themselves, who were rarely consulted. The only thing most Europeans agreed on was that the American model was wrong, although the American model wasnt really a model at all but a kind of success ethicthe Europeans said dollar ethicin which making money and moving up in the world was what made Americans out of strangers. It was, for better or for worse, the one model that seemed to work.”