Edited by Yaojun Li
Chapter 8: Informal, associational bonding and associational bridging: which ties matter most for minority involvement and integration?
Despite the fact there is very little evidence that British communities experience actual ghettoization (Finney and Simpson, 2009), policy-makers continue to persist in their portrayals of minorities as ‘disengaged’ groups (Goodhart, 2004; Cameron, 2011, 2013). Furthermore, minority communities are expected to tread carefully the fine line of non-electoral participation since ethnic and religious-based lobbyism and protests can be equated with support for the extreme politics of difference or ethnic enclavization (Vertovec, 1998). This ambivalence and plurality of minority participation and engagement makes it a very interesting research question with significant policy implications. Britain is a useful case study. Multiculturalism policies have recently been under attack (Phillips, 2005, 2006; Cameron, 2011); and British minority communities have received accusations of lack of involvement in wider society. To summarize the main points of the critiques, a society that goes down the multiculturalism road (Sniderman and Hagendoorn, 2007) risks the establishment of malevolent practices as a result of its inability to convey to minority members the importance of respect for the receiving society values, of pledging one’s loyalty to the broader good and actively demonstrating the latter.
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