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British traditions and visions

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Bernard Eierbär

on 18 March 2014

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Transcript of British traditions and visions

British traditions and visions
British Empire
• largest empire in worlds history and the world’s foremost global player
• motives behind Britain's expansion:
• trade: benefit British companies and secure trade routes
• economics: desire to increase Britain's wealth
• politics: urge to prevent other European countries from becoming too powerful
• religion: desire to spread Christianity
• adventure and curiosity: explore and learn about new countries and people
The Commonwealth
Multiculturalism today
Has the concept of multiculturalism failed??
Development Of Multiculturalism
Two Sides Of Multiculturalism
The British Empire and its legacy
From Empire to Commonwealth
• result of decolonization --> effects of two world wars
• The Commonwealth consists of several colonies that
• Former colonies have been transformed to self-governing Dominions
• status came to represent equality with the United Kingdom
• Canada became the first Dominion in 1867, followed by Australia 1900, New Zealand 1907, South Africa 1910, the Irish Free State State
• WWll changed nature of the British Commonwealth to a multiracial association of sovereign and equal states
• decolonalization --> Commonwealth became an association free for nations

• The 54 member-countries of the Commonwealth make up 30% of the world's population (around 1.7 billion people)
• Aims of the international organization:
• advance democracy and human rights
• tolerable economic and social development
• help to maintain cultural contacts
• seek for a common system in law, administration and education
• No economic or political advantages involved in belonging to the Commonwealth

decline of the Empire has its reasons in the two World Wars
• Britain focused on rebuilding their own country
• dominions were formed and other colonies became independent.
• the Legacy of the British Empire can be found in:
• links of former colonies to Britain
• parliamentary democracies with a legal system based on British law, a military, police and civil service system based on British models
• English is still main or secondary language
"What it means to be British"
• pluralism of British society
--> mixture of races and cultures
• pluralism leads to cultural and economic vitality; enriches British culture
• tolerance towards other cultures
--> multiculturalism is a positive phenomenon; positive force for British economy and society
--> the British are not a race but a composition of many different ethnic groups

What does "Britishness" mean to the British themselves?
• good education (fair play, standing up for rights and against injustice, respect)
• sharp humor
• tolerance
• national pride (monuments, hymns)
• multiethnic acceptance of all cultures

“Being British is about driving a German car to an Irish pub for a Belgian beer, then travelling home, grabbing an Indian curry or a Turkish kebab on the way, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch American shows on a Japanese TV”

• reconstruction after WWll
• British government has encouraged immigration from Europe and the Commonwealth due to a lack of workers
• until 1962 citizens of the Commonwealth were allowed to enter Britain
• people claimed that the immigrants would undermine their society
--> government limited number of immigrants
• Immigration Acts followed
• part of ethnic minorities in the UK will double until 2020
• most of the ethnic minorities live in large cities or urban areas
• London: - home to 50% of all minorities
- more than 30 ethnic communities
• great pluralism --> cultural and economic vitality
• linguistic diversity e.g. of the staff of multinational companies
• variety in terms of British food
• chicken Tikka Massala is a new national dish
• better integration than in other European countries
• almost everyone has British citizenship
• right to vote as a member of the Commonwealth
• multiculturalism creates diversity
• chance to learn from other cultures
• possible loss of British culture
• more competition e.g. concerning jobs
• social disadvantages of ethnic minorities:
• often need of special education
• high unemployment rate
• racial discrimination ( there were and still are riots against immigrants in Britain)
• underrepresented in important positions e.g. in the Parliament
• increasing influx of refugees and illegal immigrants -->< fast growing criminal business
• bombings by third-generation immigrants in London in 2005
Please describe the picture and discuss how it is relating to Britishness!
Source: http://www.michellehenry.fr/perfect2.jpg
Source: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaYLXHRiHOY
Full transcript