Politics in Minutes (2016)

A shrinking world

As well as the economic effects of globalization, profound changes have been brought about by improvements in communication and the ease with which people can move around the world. Populations in many countries have become more diverse as a result of immigration, while at the same time alliances of all sorts between countries have created a homogeneity blurring national borders. Yet people continue to feel a need to identify with a community. While some political groups resist change to traditional national identities, fearing conflict between indigenous and immigrant cultures, others welcome the development of pluralist societies. In the Western world, a balance is being struck between integration and multiculturalism that despite inevitable tensions, has led to people identifying themselves not in relation to a single cultural community, but several. There is no contradiction today in a person describing him or herself as European, British, Scottish, black and Muslim, any more than the so-called ‘hyphenated Americans’ – immigrants who have retained their cultural roots.

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