Assimilation vs Multiculturalism: Difference and Comparison

Assimilation and multiculturalism are two distinct procedures that are followed to achieve social cohesion and equality among the groups which are in the minority and mainstream socio-cultural groups.

Besides their main or shared cause, two different ideologies take place.

Key Takeaways

  1. Assimilation encourages immigrants to adopt their host country’s cultural norms and values, while multiculturalism promotes the coexistence and appreciation of diverse cultures within a society.
  2. Assimilation seeks to create a unified cultural identity, whereas multiculturalism fosters maintaining and celebrating cultural differences.
  3. Assimilation can lead to the loss of cultural heritage, while multiculturalism encourages the preservation and sharing of unique cultural traditions.

Assimilation vs Multiculturalism

Assimilation is a process of cultural integration where individuals from different cultures abandon their cultural identity and adopt the values, customs, and traditions of the dominant culture. Multiculturalism is a social policy that recognizes the diversity of cultures within a society.

Assimilation vs Multiculturalism

Assimilation can be defined as a procedure in which a group of people or culture which is in the minority comes to bear a resemblance to the group of society that is in the majority or supposes the beliefs, ethics, behaviour, and values of another group in the society whether entirely or partly.

Multiculturalism can be defined as a perspective that races, cultures, and ethnicity, specifically of those groups which are in the minority, deserve extra special acknowledgement of their distinctions within a political culture that is dominant.

The acknowledgement that takes place can be in the form of various recognition of contribution to the cultural life as an entire demand.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAssimilationMulticulturalism
Discovery The discovery of the word assimilation took place in 1964.The discovery of multiculturalism took place at the end of the 19th century.
FounderThe word assimilation was discovered by Gordon.The word multiculturalism was discovered by John Murray Gibbons.
Meaning in Psychology Assimilation is an immigrant’s decision to show behavior and beliefs from their heritage, in psychology.Multiculturalism is a systematic study of how culture affects cognition, in psychology.
EffectsAs assimilation gathers people thus it is majorly considered to be good for society.As multiculturalism promotes separation thus it is considered to be bad for our society.
Synonyms Cultural assimilationEthnic pluralism and cultural pluralism

What is Assimilation?

There are various types of assimilation.

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Few kinds of assimilation give resemblance to acculturation in which the group of society which is in minority or culture entirely builds a dominant culture in which detailing traits of the culture which is in the minority are less obverse or completely vanish, while in various other forms of assimilation like cultural integration, majorly seen in multicultural communities, a group which is in the minority within the same society taking on to another social norm of another society while accommodating their own original culture.

One idea of forming a concept elaborates that assimilation is similar to acculturation while another only thinks about the earlier as one of the stages of the latter.

Every part of history has distinct types of assimilation examples of forms of acculturation comprised of voluntary and involuntary assimilation.

Assimilation is also known as Cultural Assimilation. Assimilation could also include the supposed additive acculturation where alternatively, replacing the culture of the ancestors, a human being extends the existing culture of the group.


What is Multiculturalism?

Multiculturalism stands up as a challenge to liberal democracy.

Multiculturalism can be understood as both a reaction to the reality of cultural diversity in modern democracies and a method of recomposing cultural grouping for past or previous barring, oppression, and discrimination.

Multiculturalism looks for the addition and incorporation of the perspectives and contributions of various members of society while keeping going respect for their distinctions and holding back the demand for their assimilation into the dominant culture.

Multiculturalism supposes that society as an entire benefits from the increment in diversity through the tuneful coexisting of various distinct cultures.

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The term multiculturalism has been used in various context books, political philosophy, sociology, and colloquial use. Ethnic pluralism and cultural pluralism are used as synonyms of the word Multiculturalism.

In political science, multiculturalism can be understood as the capacity of the state to deal with cultural diversity effectively and efficiently.


Main Differences Between Assimilation and Multiculturalism

  1. Assimilation involves reducing cultural distinctions, while multiculturalism recognizes them.
  2. A dominant culture can be seen in assimilation, while multiculturalism has no dominant culture.
  3. Assimilation is embracing the culture of the society you have moved into, while Multiculturalism is keeping parts of your previous culture that make you feel comfortable.
  4. Assimilation tends to assume a non-trivial amount of superiority of the culture to be assimilated. In contrast, multiculturalism requires a sort of cultural relativism.
  5. Assimilation is all about bringing people together for a cause, while multiculturalism is related to keeping people separated based on differences.
Difference Between X and Y 2023 07 27T074332.586

Last Updated : 27 July, 2023

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