Concept of Cultural Diversity Needs to be Actively Reflected in Multicultural Policies

Createdd 2018-04-04 Hit 251

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On March 26, the Gyeonggi Research Institute published a report titled Measures to Develop Gyeonggi Province’s Multicultural Policies by Introducing the Concept of Cultural Diversity which examined the implications of cultural diversity and its applicability to multicultural policies in Gyeonggi Province.

Having the largest population of immigrants in Korea, Gyeonggi Province has enacted and implemented the Multicultural Family Support Ordinance for marriage immigrants and naturalized residents as well as the Foreign Resident Support Ordinance for residents with foreign citizenships. The province has also carried out various projects to support the lives of immigrants and promote their human rights.

The report suggested that the province’s multicultural policies be expanded to include a wider range of immigrants, pointing out that multicultural programs and related projects have been focused on married immigrant women and that the main beneficiaries of multicultural policies have been married immigrant women and their children.

In the Cultural Diversity Awareness Survey that the Gyeonggi Research Institute conducted with 207 participants from September to October 2017, 87% of the respondents said that they have heard of the term “cultural diversity”, indicating that public awareness of cultural diversity is high in the province.

However, only 38.6% of the respondents saw Korean society as accepting and supportive of the cultures of immigrants, indicating that they believe that Korean society has low tolerance for diversity.

In addition, 92.8% answered that cultural diversity policies are necessary for Korean society, and 89.9% said that the recognition and promotion of cultural diversity will help the social integration of cultural minorities including immigrants.

“The spread of awareness of cultural diversity can help Koreans to accept immigrants as part of ‘us’, overcoming the limit of distinguishing them as ‘multicultural residents’. As there is need for a new viewpoint that we are also part of multicultural society, the introduction of the concept of cultural diversity is essential for multicultural policies”, the report said.

Researcher Kim Seong-ha emphasized, “Cultural diversity means recognizing cultural minorities as well as their cultures, and making the value of such diversity the driving force of social development. If the concept of cultural diversity is introduced into multicultural policies, it will be very helpful in the social integration of immigrants and the promotion of their human rights.”