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When people from different cultural beliefs, background, and origins coexist as a society is known as pluralism. They come together and live as one big family or society without any coercion. The members in the society understand each other as well as respect each other’s beliefs.
Pluralism has used as an instrument to achieve a diversity of views and opinions. They exchange healthy criticism however, it is important their opinions do not affect others. Let’s look at the pros and cons of pluralism.
1. Tolerance: The inhabitants of society are more tolerant and acceptance to each other. They try to understand each other’s differences and ensure less prejudice and discrimination towards the minority.
2. Keep own beliefs: Everyone has a right to preserve his/her own beliefs. People in pluralistic society should understand there is a different point of views for any activity being carried out.
3. Create social bond: Nations like the US and India have people of different ethnicity and they belong to various cultures. The people live together and build a social bond despite their religions and culture.
4. Innovative society: In a pluralistic society, different opinions are welcomed thus new ideas and constant debate opens people mind’s to great opportunities. This leads to more innovative ideas.
5. Less tribalism: Pluralism helps avoid tribalism and partisan and everyone has a fair-play and the rule of the law is strong.
6. Consensus decision: It promotes intellectual dualism where leadership, economic or political decisions are made through consensus among the members of the society.
7. Encourage diversity among members: Pluralism addresses and acknowledge diversity among various groups in a political context. Various groups whether small or large have equal opportunity to participate and safeguard their interests.
8. Encourage maintenance of group interests and strategies: The minority groups are encouraged to develop and maintain their own strategies and interest as long as their identities and interests do not conflict with the values and laws of the dominant culture.
9. Preserve traditions: Pluralism helps to preserve unique traditions, identities, and languages among different cultural groups in society.
10. Equality: It ensures there is a balance between different individual cultures and beliefs and no one culture dominates over the other.
11. Encourages fairness in the rule of law. In a pluralistic society all the people are equal before the eyes of the law. This means that there is no group of people that will be favored by the law and hence the rule of law stands tall in every situation.
12. Minimal corruption. We all know that corruption is a menace that affects the entire globe. Pluralism has been able to curb corruption because everyone is treated equally. There is no group of people that is superior or even above the rule of law.
13. Brings about democracy. Pluralism goes hand in hand with democracy. This means that everyone has a voice and equal rights. As a matter of fact, democracy is one of the fundamental aspects of pluralism.
14. Enhances rights and freedoms of all groups of people. Tribalism, ethnicity and racism are just a few of the many vices that pluralism has helped push out of the society. For this reason, the rights and freedoms of various groups of people are respected. Everyone is entitled to their rights in a pluralistic society.
15. Respect for different religions. People of different ethnic groups and races can coexist in one society as a result of pluralism. The same goes for people of different religions. Each one of them feels inclined to recognize and respect the other person’s religion.
16. Contributes to a peaceful society. Peace is a very important aspect in any society. Through pluralism, people respect each other’s opinions, beliefs, cultures, religion and there is no discrimination whatsoever. This contributes to peace in the society.
17. Brings about multiculturalism. You will find that in one nation, there are people of various cultures and nationalities. These people may be different in one way or the other but are still able to coexist together and get along.
18. Enhances unity. Aside from contributing to a peaceful society, pluralism enhances unity. People are able to come together and work towards a common goal despite all their cultural, ethnic or religious differences.
19. May contribute to economic growth. This is because various groups of people are able to work together hence they all have their own different perspective of things. When you put different minds together then there is a good chance the outcome will be favorable. Furthermore, when there is peace and unity the economy ultimately thrives.
20. Same language. People in a pluralistic society will keep their beliefs and respect each other’s cultures and religions. However, they all speak one common language. This is actually how all of them are able to get along. It does not matter what nation you come from, but in a pluralistic society then you all speak a common language.
1. Cultural relativism: There is fear that pluralism leads to cultural relativism where different ways of life are treated morally equal regardless of whether the accepted customs are viewed as immoral by others.
2. Difficult to govern: It is very difficult to govern pluralistic democracies due to many diverging interests among different groups. It can also lead to political gridlock since there is less consensus.
3. Hostility among inhabitants: Alienation and differences between different ethnic beliefs can lead to hostility among them. It can trigger favoritism from authorities on a particular ethnic group over the other.
4. Late decisions: Arriving at a decision through consensus results in the late decision since members have to come together to debate an issue before making the decision.
5. Ignore reality: Pluralism ignores the reality that there are groups which are dominant over the other. The dominant group is too strong and exercise some powers and control over the interests of the small group.
6. Political bias: Lack of coordination among various cultural groups and difficult implementation process lead to inefficiency and make the system ineffective. Political bias contributes to the inefficiency of the program.
7. Affect cultural values of a country: Pluralism threatens a countries cultural values and goals as well as affect the preservation of the country’s cultural history through tolerance.
8. Fear of self-expression: Pluralism is killing individuality and children are raised thinking that they have to weigh what they say for fear of offending others. This affects their own self-expression.
9. Level of tolerance: To what extent can we tolerate the culture and religion beliefs of others? Sometimes it is difficult to tolerate various religious beliefs being enforced while striping our own values and beliefs.
10. Conflicts: Lack of balance between ethnic groups, religions, and culture promote conflicts in society and affect economic growth.
11. Divided approach. Pluralism has not been around for a long time and there is a divided approach towards it. It’s something that many people are not sure will work for them. All that can be done is to watch and see what happens when you bring different groups of people together.
12. Less social trust. It is observed in a diversified society there is less social trust. Remember, these are people who are different in various ways and hence may not be able to have that social trust in their coexistence.
13. May stifle long term plans of a government. In this case, there has to be an agreement between the government and the people before anything affecting them is done. Since it’s a diverse society, people have different opinions and this can easily get in the way of the entire process.
14. Not genuine. In many cases, people in a diverse society only pretend that they are getting along. In the real sense, they are not genuine in how they feel towards the other group that is different from them. This gradually brings about animosity.
15. Less freedom. When you live in a diverse society you definitely have less freedom as a human being. You cannot do or say certain things because they will be deemed as offensive to the other person.
16. Contributes to religious problems. If there is already a dominant religion in a nation, then people who are of another religion may find it difficult to fit in.
17. Discrimination. As much as pluralism is meant to bring various groups of people together, there are some instances where this does not have a positive impact. The inhabitants may discriminate against the immigrants or those people from another ethnic society.
18. So many contradictions and confusion. You will find that the concept of pluralism comes with plenty of contradictions here and there and confusions too. People simply don’t know what to do anymore. They may even be confused about their own cultural values and beliefs.
19. Overexposure to each other’s beliefs and cultures. When people of various beliefs and cultures coexist then there is a huge risk of alienation. There will always be hostility among them because they don’t share common values and beliefs. At times this escalated quickly and creates bigger problems. This is because they are exposed to each other’s beliefs and not all of them can respect that.
20. Contributes to protests. A diverse society is quite difficult to govern because everyone has their own different point of view. This means that people will not be able to agree on so many things. This can largely contribute to protests.