International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
Dr. Ravindra Katyayan*  
Multiculturalism has become a way of life in many modern societies. The different types of socio,  
cultural, economic and political forces are involved in the process of developing a multicultural  
society. It has been described as a melting pot or cultural mosaic of the world. Multiculturalism  
can lead to homogenization of cultures as well as formation of specific identities. The main objective  
of this paper is to understand the recent trends in multiculturalism with interdisciplinary  
perspectives. The paper examines the challenges and impact of multiculturalism on society. The  
discussion also includes how to conserve our dying art and culture, the role and responsibility of  
media and new media in sensitizing people at large and preserving it and heading towards a  
truly glocal culture.  
Keywords : Culture, Multiculturalism, Society, Reality, Identity, Multiculture, Cultural Mosaic  
The concept of multiculturalism is not very new but it has changed the society we live in. It is a  
combination of different forms of knowledge, disciplines, cultures and academic fields. This idea is  
used more nowadays because multiculturalism, pluralism and diversity have become a norm in many  
modern societies. Earlier it was a different case. People used to live together and work in a cooperative  
manner where unity was the key. Societies have grown to bigger and bigger, leading to megacities  
but their singularity has become a diverse story. Big cities of the world are now more and more  
diverse than ever. Now societies are feeling proud to announce their cast, class, creed, language,  
ethnicity, locality, regionality, colour and many other factors dividing our society. This diversity has led  
to the various cultural phenomenon, which are the core of multiculturalism.  
The different types of socio, cultural, economic and political forces are involved in the process of  
developing a multicultural society. The shape of today’s multiculturalism is the result of all these  
drivers. All this dividing is focussed on these different forces which are active everywhere with different  
perspective. Booming globalization has changed the whole world and now the world has become a  
Melting Pot. Global consumer culture has led to a common business culture which has changed the  
behaviour of the societies.Market economy is the key to multiculturalism because market is derived  
by the culture or you can say market is controlling and changing global culture so multiculturalism.  
So, multiculturalism can be understood by the sociological, cultural, economic, political and global  
strategies which lead to the contemporary world.  
A Global Phenomenon  
Multiculturalism is developed within 30 to 40 years as a forceful mean to govern the sociological and  
geographical factors. It can be described as a melting pot or cultural mosaic of the world. Now almost  
all the countries have different cultural traditions, rituals and practices but then also they belong to  
one common society. Every country is now governed by many factors which are common in almost  
everywhere. Countries such as India, Indonesia, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, UK, Germany, Switzerland,  
USA, Australia, New Zealand are leading multicultural societies. Frequent travel, tourism, changing  
jobs, placement in multinational companies lead to multicultural phenomenon. Migration to different  
countries and within the country lead to cultural diversity and advent of new cultures, so this connection  
cannot be denied. Now the world is seen as a global village, global state and a multicultural state.  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
The main objective of this paper is to understand the recent trends in multiculturalism with  
interdisciplinary perspectives. Multiculturalism by name itself leads to different disciplines and  
assimilates all the positive effects of various cultures, various languages, disciplines, regions, casts,  
class. Various groups live together and lead to a multicultural, multilingual society. It is also used to  
create a dialogue on contemporary trends in multiculturalism with international perspectives.  
Multiculturalism is a reality of the current world. We cannot deny or ignore a multicultural society. Now  
the main factors governing multiculturalism are unity in diversity, inclusionary and exclusionary  
practices, humanistic and tolerant, natural process, belief in adjustment principle, overall development,  
thirst for knowledge etc. The list can be exhaustive. Overall characteristics of multiculturalism have  
many common things, which make it a global phenomenon. Different religions follow their own cultures  
and rituals. Different caste under one religion lead to variety of cultures but follow a common culture.  
Likewise, diversity on the basis of different factors, lead to unity in diversity which is the core of any  
multicultural society. Social inclusion leads to include different strata of the society in a single culture.  
There are many differentiating and diversifying practices in every society but then also they live  
together and follow a common minimum multicultural ethics and practices.Difference does not stop  
them to being multicultural.  
Being multicultural is a very humanistic and tolerant approach. Being multicultural is being open to  
others as well as respect their lifestyles without imposing our own agenda to them. Multiculturalism  
teaches us to be tolerant and respect others. It’s a natural process for any society because it leads to  
similar habits and hobbies naturally. Many things people learn automatically which are common for  
them. Common food habits, common clothes, common festivals, common celebrations, common  
lifestyle naturally lead to a common culture that is multicultural. It believes in adjustment principles.  
People adjust with each other and share their sorrows and joys together. Even though any society is  
multicultural, its development depends on the process of multiculturalism only. There is a continuous  
thirst for knowledge in a multicultural society. People want to know more and more about different  
cultures, traditions, rituals, practices, innovations, ideologies etc.  
Impact of Multiculturalism on Society  
In the multicultural societies, social norms, lifestyles, are shifting. Rules and guidelines for living in  
the societies are changing and people are also accepting the changes as per the new cultural  
domination. People adjust accordingly to the new food habits, clothes, fashion, rituals, style in the  
changed world. Multiculturalism has affected complete social system which includes social, political,  
economic and religious system. Under social systems new societies are emerging and they are  
governed by the globalization and multiculturalism. Smart cities are developing across the globe and  
creating cultures smarter that is another way of looking at contemporary multiculturalism.  
Many factors are responsible for the change in traditional social identities. New media, new  
technologies, new communication system, new lifestyles have changed the traditional way of living  
and it is shifting very fast. With the changed social identities, people are frequently using new media,  
learning foreign languages, adopting global culture and innovative fashion in the smart cities as well  
as traditional cities also. The rise of media is the main cause of innovative practices in the field of  
multiculturalism which has commanded to a definite change in the social systems.  
Like social system multiculturalism has also changed our political system. The kind of politics we  
have started now is a new trend and fully technology driven. Media is fully controlling our political  
campaigns, election techniques and general behaviour of the voters. Election campaigns have become  
more and more intense and innovative. It has increased the awareness level of politics among general  
public. New leaders are emerging and old leaders are thrown out of the politics because of new  
cultures adopted in political system also.  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
Likewise, booming economy is controlling the economic systems globally. Globalization, privatization  
and liberalization have led to a new culture among societies. Shopping malls, online shopping, credit  
card, insurance policies, rise of plastic money, foreign trips have led to a new culture which is controlling  
our economic system. Earlier it was the necessity which could buy the goods for people but now false  
necessity is created by market and people are running behind it like anything. False necessities have  
aggravated the demand for many things which are not required at all for daily life. Mall culture and  
online shopping culture has changed and controlled the consumer behaviours and are difficult to  
predict. Neo rich communities have emerged near metropolitan cities and they have adopted many  
new trends popular in the other countries. Due to rise of land prices near metro and smart cities,  
these neo rich communities got abundant money. They don’t know how to handle or invest this huge  
amount of money. So, they are following an agenda about which they are also not aware. They just  
spent money and want to enjoy many things which they could never do in the past. This is a new  
situation in many societies and has created a new culture. But they have many conflicts with traditional  
cultures also. This is a new multicultural situation and it has changed many social identities.  
Religious diversity is another arena where many new phenomena have emerged. Old gods are  
sidelined and new Gods are created.Shirdi Sai Baba is one of them. A new culture in the field of  
religious system is developing and controlling the societies. Religion has become more powerful  
nowadays and this has taken more intense shift in cultural identities. Religious identities are stronger  
than cultural identities and they have affected our cultural system.  
Multiculturalism facilitates communal harmony and teaches the people to live together without much  
differences. It helps different communities live together in a common civic manner. There is no clash  
between them. There are many problems throughout the world such as terrorism, fanaticism, racism,  
regionalism, casteism etc. Even developed countries are victim of these problems. Multiculturalism is  
a powerful tool to bring the societies together without any basic difference.  
Multiculturalism can lead to two things- 1) Homogenization of cultures and 2) Creation of specific  
Identity. Due to similar social, economic and political conditions, multiple cultures come under one  
umbrella and stay together. When people follow them, they follow common patterns, habits, trends  
and comforts of those cultures. It creates specific identities which are new and common. These  
identities are created by their names, cast, ethnicity, languages, regions and many others. These  
specific identities are created in different parts of society or countries which are the beautiful examples  
of multiculturalism. There are various types of groups existing physically in the society or existing  
virtually in the new media. New media has also changed the rules of the game. It has created  
different types of cultural communities with specific identities yet they are living together and without  
many conflicts.  
The main trends of multiculturalism are in the fields of performing arts, films, music, literature, education,  
loans, clothes, fashion, lifestyles etc. In this globalized world we are having common food with different  
cultural backgrounds. Foods from different part of country are popular in the whole world. Now one  
can find countless cuisines in any smart city and enjoy their tastes. Likewise, films, music, fashion  
and literature are very popular in the whole world. Internationalization of higher education is another  
cause of creating multicultural societies. Now education is widely available to every person across  
globe. Students are going for higher education in various countries. These equations are creating  
new fashion, new food, new lifestyle which lead to a multicultural society. Life is very busy in a  
multicultural society as everybody is very busy. Especially in a technology driven world, cultural  
diversity is very common but due to use of same technology, similar language and lifestyle people  
become very busy. So, multiculturalism leads to a busy lifestyle across globe.  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
Challenges of Multiculturalism  
Multiculturalism has many challenges like issues of identity for some people have become a prestige  
issue. In Great Britain, British people did not support Sikh’s Pagdi in major places and on government  
duty. But a recent change in the rules and regulations has enabled Sikhs to wear Pagdi even on their  
duties. This shows that in a multicultural society, you have to accept diverse culture and traditions  
and respect them also. There are many such issues which are commonly addressed and solved with  
mutual consent or by interfere by the law. But on the other hand, homogenization of culture has  
created a serious threat to ethnic communities. Ethnic communities are on the verge of extinction and  
fighting for their survival. It is the duty of society to save them and promote them also.  
It is the duty of a multicultural society to conserve our dying art and culture. In this matter the role of  
media also can be instrumental. Media should take this opportunity to save art and culture with  
responsibility. It has to control and redirect it in a positive way. Especially the new media is need of  
the hour. It can look and spread the spirit of multiculturalism. Common social interaction, common  
lifestyle, common hobbies and habits are challenges before multiculturalism.  
Towards Global Culture  
Multiculturalism is now the reality of our society. Indigenous knowledge should be the part of academic  
curriculum, research and discussions. Our young generation should know the cultural diversities of  
the world and try to understand the assimilation process of multiculturalism. When we study this  
process, right from the basic education, in our curricula, then it becomes a responsible understanding  
among young students. They are going to study it further and bring it in the research and discussion  
forums. Global culture will become truly glocal in this manner. However, it is a big challenge to  
understand the multiculturalism within our own subjective ground realities.  
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Rieder, J., & Smith, L. (1996).Multiculturalism and Representation: Selected Essays.University of  
Hawaii Press.  
Assistant Professor & HOD, Department of Hindi, Maniben Nanavati Women’s College, Mumbai