The Multiculturalism Of The United States

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Set against the background of deep-seated racial and social tensions in 1970s London, Buddha of Suburbia is more than just a satirical coming of age story. As the decades following formal decolonization saw hundreds of thousands of former imperial subjects immigrating into Britain, the increasing hybridity of British society created a complicated domestic situation that perplexed citizens of all races. A relevant question to consider is whether multiculturalism in England provided a way to transcend the trauma of colonialism or whether it kept it very much alive. Although multiculturalism can be a positive element in cosmopolitan societies, joining together different races and cultures, it can also perpetuate the inherent racism of western…show more content…
After reading Buddha of Suburbia, it becomes obvious that many British people at the time refused to accept the new cultures that were streaming into the country.
Rather than offering a way to transcend the legacy of colonialism, the cosmopolitanism and conservatism present in the book only propagated fear, which served to motivate prejudices and xenophobia. Because de facto imperialism continued to influence British thought, many English people still felt superior to the people their empire once had power over. As a result, a strong sense of nationalism had united the British against the ‘other’ in a response that can be described as defensive exclusivism. It is exactly the narrow definition of Englishness, produced by an exclusive, discriminatory society that prompted the protagonist’s identity crisis in the novel. Although it was becoming clear that the synonymy of ‘European’ and ‘white’ could not continue in a post-colonial word, identity in Buddha of Suburbia was being communicated through absolute ethnicity and racialized difference nonetheless. As explained by Vijay Mishra and Bob Hodge in What is Post(-)colonialism?, post-colonialism is a paradox that has transpired as a result of the ‘othering’ process Europe historically utilized when perceiving non-Western people. It is difficult to see the British society in Buddha of Suburbia as post-colonial since its xenophobia, prejudices
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