ERIC Number: ED274577
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Cultural Diversity in Western Societies: Challenges and Opportunities.
Banks, James A.
The tremendous racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity that characterizes Western societies today presents both challenges and opportunities. Ethnic conflict and tension are inevitable consequences of pluralistic societies. People must learn to live with a degree of conflict and tension in a culturally diverse nation-state. However, citizens should also formulate policy and strategies to reduce ethnic conflicts and tensions. This can be achieved by formulating and implementing educational policies that promote the structural inclusion of all ethnic, racial, and cultural groups into the nation-state. While pluralism is a challenge to Western nation-states, it is also an opportunity. It provides a source of innovation and helps a society to perceive problems in new ways and to develop innovative solutions. Structurally excluded ethnic and cultural groups also serve as a moral conscience for the nation-state by challenging it to close the gap between its democractic ideals and its social realities. To maximize the possibilities for benefits to result from cultural and ethnic diversity, the nation-state must validate the cultures of its diverse groups and help their members to develop clear reflective, and positive cultural, national, and global identifications. Two diagrams, "The Expanding Identifications of Students" and "The Stages of Ethnic and Cultural Development" are included, as is a 23 item bibliography. (CBS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum and Development (San Francisco, CA, March 1-4, 1986).