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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 respect each other’s beliefs.
Pluralism is used 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 the 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 the society.
10. Equality: It ensures there is a balance between different individual cultures and beliefs and no one culture dominates over the other.
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 contribute to 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.