OPEN FORUM: Cracks in the Wall of Multiculturalism? A Review of Attitudinal Studies in the Netherlands

Fons J. R. Van De Vijver, Saskia R. G. Schalk-Soekar, Judit Arends-Tóth and Seger M. Breugelmans

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Abstract:

This article examines the seemingly widespread view that multiculturalism in the Netherlands is in jeopardy. Empirical studies are reviewed. Multiculturalism is supported more by Dutch immigrant groups than by Dutch mainstream society. Mainstreamers are neutral towards multiculturalism, strongly feeling the need for equal rights and opportunities for all ethnic groups but not willing to actively support multiculturalism in the Netherlands; moreover, they think that immigrants are insufficiently adapted to Dutch society. Whereas immigrants often favour cultural maintenance (notably separation) in the private sphere and adaptation (notably integration) in the public sphere, mainstreamers prefer assimilation by immigrants in both spheres. It is concluded that public attitudes towards multiculturalism have not undergone appreciable changes in the last five years and that the presumed deteriorated state of multiculturalism cannot be accounted for by the views of the public.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Van De Vijver, F., Schalk-Soekar, S., Arends-Tóth, J. and Breugelmans, S. OPEN FORUM: Cracks in the Wall of Multiculturalism? A Review of Attitudinal Studies in the Netherlands. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2006, vol.8, no.1, pp. 102-118. UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574. www.unesco.org/shs/ijms/vol8/issue1/art6

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