In What Respects Can the Uk Be Characterised as a Culturally Diverse Society?

Providing a concise and overarching definition of “culture” is not a straightforward task. Kath Woodward has suggested that “culture provides us with some of the categories and means of organising ideas through which we make sense of our lives” (Woodward, 2004, p.22). This is a useful description. The everyday activities we participate in, the social groups we belong to and the shared values and beliefs we hold all contribute to defining our culture. Culture is not simply a term useful when describing our recreational and intellectual pursuits; it is a term that can describe a political system, a thought process, a common goal, a religion – our shared values.

There has been demonstrable significant cultural diversification in the UK since the end of the World War II. There are many key factors which have contributed to this change and many were suggested by Bikhu Parekh in the 2000 report “The Future of Multi-ethnic Britain”. Of course, any democratic, liberal society will be in a state of constant cultural evolution. Parekh points some of these universal factors out – for example, increased globalisation (especially relevant today due to the rapid advances in communications technology over the last 25 years) and the arrival of immigrants (in UK’s case specifically the large numbers arriving from the Caribbean, South Asian sub-continent and Eire). When thinking specifically about the UK, Parekh cites key events (between 1945 and 2000) as having a radical effect on UK culture. The rapid decline of the British empire, Britain’s perilous economic position post World War II and subsequent reliance on the USA; an increasingly close political relationship with mainland Europe and devolution of government within the UK itself are all important factors which have contributed to continued cultural diversification within the UK.

Diversity, in a social sense, refers to mix of cultural activities and shared beliefs present within society. Cultural diversity therefore...