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Multicultural City: reflecting the World. “ There never were, in the world, two opinions alike, no more than two hairs, or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.” Michel Eyquem de Montaigne. What is multiculturalism?.

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Multicultural City: reflecting the World

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Multicultural City: reflecting the World

“There never were, in the world, two opinions alike, no more than two hairs, or two grains; the most universal quality is diversity.”


What is multiculturalism?

Multiculturalismisabodyofthoughtinpoliticalphilosophyabouttheproperwaytorespondtoculturalandreligiousdiversity. Meretolerationofgroupdifferencesissaidtofallshortoftreatingmembersofminoritygroupsasequalcitizens [9].

Multiculturalism relates to communities containing multiple cultures. The term is used in two broad ways, either descriptively (it refers to the simple fact of cultural diversity: schools, businesses, cities, nations) or normatively (it refers to ideologies or policies promoting this diversity)[10].

What is multicultural society?

A multicultural society is a society where people of different races, cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs live, work and communicate with each other.

A multicultural society is not a patchwork of several fixed cultural identities, but a network of crosscutting networks and identifications which are situated, contested, dynamic and fluid, and heavily dependent on context. [4]

Nowadays the majority of the world’s population is concentrated in the urban areas.

  • The social, cultural and economic problems and opportunities of the city life lead to the cultural conflict and cultural dialogue between people of diverse backgrounds.

    Photo: iностранец. – 2005. - № 4.

  • Multiculturalism becomes a major advantage of living in the modern society. It provides labor resources and cultural diversity to the countries all over the world that would otherwise be impacted by the decrease of population. However, this does not mean that life in a multicultural city comes without difficulties.


Modern megalopolis in the mirror of a multicultural society

  • The multifarious ethnic structure of most of the major metropolises in the XXI century is a product of migration which brings people from across the globe.


  • The process of globalization is in the core of forming modern cities where different ethnic communities become a constitutive part of metropolitan multiculture.

  • A megalopolis’ diversity is defined by the demographics of its citizens. Visual demonstration of population composition inthe most diverse cities of the world can present the reliable picture of the ethnic mix in modern society.

PopulationEstimatesbyEthicGroupLondon, UK

Source: Shrimpton H. Is London the "most diverse city" in the world?

PopulationEstimatesbyEthicGroupNew York City, USA

Source: Shrimpton H. Is London the "most diverse city" in the world?

PopulationEstimatesbyEthicGroupToronto, Canada

Source: Shrimpton H. Is London the "most diverse city" in the world?

PopulationEstimatesbyEthicGroupSydney, Australia

Source: Shrimpton H. Is London the "most diverse city" in the world?

Pros and cons of living in a multicultural city

Tolerance and intercultural dialogue

  • Tolerance is the ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with. [5]

  • According to this definition tolerance means that people of different cultural backgrounds should develop the ability to endure the fact that others believe and live differently within a multicultural society or metropolis. Tolerance is an essential value which let various cultural societies implement intercultural interaction.

Intercultural dialoguerefers to an open and respectful exchange of views between individuals and groups from different cultures. Such dialogue is based on mutual understanding, openness and a genuine respect for and appreciation of diversity, equal human dignity and equal human rights. [4]

Photo: «Пункт назначения - Канада», 2009.

  • Intercultural dialogue involves a positive attitude towards different beliefs and cultural practices.

  • It is a major priority for people coexisted in one metropolis to provide the wider society with new ideas of beauty and goodness, new social and personal norms.

Photo: Paraszkay György (Hungary):

The presentation is made by

Svetlana Panfyorova,

the librarian of the Department of literature in foreign languages

Tula regional universal research library


1. Abbot, D. Multi-racial Britain [Electronic resource]/ by Diane Abbott. - 2011. -

2. Hurworth, C. Thenegativeaspectsofmulticulturalism[Electronic resource]/ by C. Hurworth. - 2002-2012. –

3. Keith, M. After the cosmopolitan? Multicultural cities and the future of racism / Michael Keith. - London ; New York : Routledge, Tailor & Francis Group, 2005. – 246 p. ; The same [Electronic resource]. –

4. Multicultural societies, pluricultural people and the project of intercultural education / by Michael Byram. - [S. l.], 2009. - 10 p. ; The same [Electronic resource]. –

5. The Oxford English dictionary [Electronic resource]. – 2012. -

6. Parekh, B. Unity and diversity in multicultural societies / B. Parekh. - Geneva : International Institute for Labour Studies, 2005. – 23 p. ; The same [Electronic resource]. –

7. Shrimpton, H. Is London the "most diverse city" in the world? [Electronic resource] / by Hanna Shimpton. -2012. -

8. Smith, L. Multicultural Britain : what does it mean? [Electronic resource] / L. Smith // AboutImmigration : [the site]. – [S. l.], 2000-2012. –

9. Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy [Electronic resource]. - 2010. -

10. World as city: city as future [Electronic resource] // : [the site]. –

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