NationsNations are natural communities built on common mythsand histories, which are passed through generations. Despite nation’s natural existence, BenedictAndersons claims that ” nations are imagined communities” with the imaginedcommon interests and reaffirmed by the common language, history and culture.All people belong to some imagined nations, communities.
It is perceived to beour community even though we do not have personal interactions with all membersof the nation. Human kind has created imagined limitation- boarders of thenations. Nowadays, nationalism is becoming very popular among the Europeancountries. Nations create shared values, figures, symbols, language and other artefactsthat are reflection of their shared culture. Those create huge bond of identity,bond with other community members and feeling of belonging.
Feeling of identityis crucial for every human being. Nationalism can be reflected in pursue of fullsovereignty. With the current socialEuropean issues, more diversification and immigration crisis, the need for self-determination,sovereignty, national values and culture is getting stronger. National identity becomes dominant ideology inthe Europe.
There is also presentcivic nationalism that is non-xenophobic form of nationalism that focusesaround the state and the citizenship. Civic nationalism- a political attitudeof devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country combined with a feelingof shared community with fellow citizens, especially as contrasted with asimilar attitude based on ethnicity, race, or religion1.Contrasting the nationalism, civic nationalism is open to immigrants andmulticulturalism. The concept of nationcan be sometimes problematic to resolve. Currently there is ongoing debateregarding the fact should Catalonia be perceived as an independent nation ornot. There are few ongoing debates about the self- sovereignty of the countriesin European Union and whether they should have the right to become independentand leave the EU and what consequences can this have for the other EU membersand overall trends.
MulticulturalismIn order to discuss multiculturalism it is necessaryto understand the concept the concept itself. “The term “multiculturalism” hascome to define both a society that is particularly diverse, usually as a resultof immigration, and the policies necessary to manage such a society”2.Therefore it is both the description of the society and problem within it andpotential solution. Multiculturalism has its proponents and critics.Critics claim that the multiculturalism in Europe is the reason for “socialcohesion, undermined national identities, and degraded public trust.”3They say that Europe has allowed excessive immigration without any integrationor assimilation with the European countries. EU permitted immigrants to bringtheir habits, religion, values, tradition and culture to theirs immigrationdestinations.
Thus, they do not become a part of community neither the nation.Such diversity in the nation can be the source of many social issues. On theother hand, there are proponents of multiculturalism that assert that theproblem lies not in the extensive diversity itself, but in too much racism inthose countries. The truth about it is much more complex. It is not easy toassess whether the multiculturalism is the issue itself and should be reducedor the solution but not adequately used.
Nowadays, “multiculturalism has becomea proxy for other social and political issues: immigration, identity, politicaldisenchantment, working class decline.”4What is more, different European countries follow different paths inmulticulturalism and use different approaches to implement it as a solution.Nevertheless, all of them fail at that, having produced fragmented societieswithout the feeling of unity. Both critics and proponents of multiculturalismagree that mass immigration has changed Europe by making it more diverse.
Migrationflow is the main reason for the mass inflow of people from other countries. Themigration happened mostly between other EU member citizens like: Greece, Italy,and Spain. There is also mass migration from: Turkey and Ukraine.The most recent migratory flow into EU is of refugees thathappened in 2015/2016. Those flows are caused but variety of push factors likewars and unstable political position. Most of the refugees coming to EU arefrom Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. 5In 2015 there were 1 321 560 asylum claims in Europe. 6Germany and France are the two countries that have agreed to relocate thehighest amount of people from Greece an Italy, allowing them at the same timeallowing them to enter EU7.
Current refugee crisis is one of the most crucial issues in the Europe. It isalso the source of mass inflow of diverse cultures to European countries. Social diversity is not as new issue in the Europe asit may seem. “Nineteenth-century European societies may look homogeneous fromthe vantage point of view, but that is not how those societies saw themselvesthen.”8According to the Kenan Malik’s “The Failure of Multiculturalism” there weresimilar diversity issues in the nineteenth-century France and Great Britain.Considering the French Revolution, only half of the society spoke French.French Revolution needed process of cultural, educational, political andeconomic self-colonization as it was so diversified.
9In the Great Britain on the other hand had different social distinction, theyconsidered the urban working class and the rural poor as two distinct ones10.Considering the social differences in the history of European countries, itshouldn’t be such an issue now. Nowadays, the Europe is perceived to be morediverse regardless the real state. This may be because of the changes in theway people define social differences. It used to be based on the race orreligion, but now many see distinctions rooted in the class or social standing.
However even the class is becoming less relevant. Instead of that, the culturehas become more relevant as a tool for setting the social differences. Peoplestarted o define their social identity in terms of culture, rather than inpolitical terms. 1https://en.oxforddictionaries.
com/definition/civic_nationalism2 Malik, Kenan. “The Failure of Multiculturalism.”3 Malik, Kenan.”The Failure of Multiculturalism.”4 Malik, Kenan.”The Failure of Multiculturalism.”5 Eurostat„Asylum Statistics”6 Eurostat „Asylumclaims in Europe, 2015″7 European Commision„EU member state migrant quotas”8 Malik, Kenan.”The Failure of Multiculturalism.”9 Malik, Kenan.”The Failure of Multiculturalism.”10 Malik, Kenan.”The Failure of Multiculturalism.”