Difference Between Assimilation and Multiculturalism

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


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

Assimilation vs Multiculturalism

The difference between assimilation and multiculturalism is that assimilation can be understood as a procedure in which cultural groups which are in minority come to reflect or showcase the beliefs, values, and ethics of their culture. On the other hand, multiculturalism is a procedure where the normal culture acknowledges.

Assimilation vs Multiculturalism

Assimilation can be defined as a procedure in which a group of people or culture which is in minority comes to bear a resemblance to the group of society that is in majority or supposes the beliefs, ethics, behavior, 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 minority, deserve extra special acknowledgment of their distinctions within a political culture that is dominant.

The acknowledgment that takes place can be in 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.

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 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 minority within the same society taking on to another social norm of another society while accommodating their own original culture.

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

Every part of history has been 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 the 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 various distinct cultures.

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 the cultural distinctions while multiculturalism recognizes them.
  2. A dominant culture can be seen in assimilation while there is no dominant culture in multiculturalism.
  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. While multiculturalism requires a sort of cultural relativism.
  5. Assimilation is all about bringing people together for the cause while multiculturalism is related to keeping people separated based on differences.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/685012
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01115093
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