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Social Studies Model Answer Chapter 7 (Policies to Manage Diversity)

1. Assimilation

Assimilation is one of the ways that countries like France manage diversity. Assimilation refers to getting immigrants to fit into the local society. This is done to preserve the local culture as much as possible. In France, assimilation is achieved through education, workplace processes, laws and the naturalization process. In French schools, all students must the French language, and all subjects are taught in French. No religion is also taught. As a result, children grow speaking the same language and learning about French society. At the workplace, everyone speak and write French, hence, immigrants have to adapt and learn to French in order to get a job. This help them to assimilate better and faster. Through laws, immigrants are also not allowed to wear their religious clothing. For example, the Burkini is not allowed to be wore in French public places. Naturalization also helps immigrants to quickly learn about the French language and culture so that they can assimilate quickly. Naturalization put immigrants through compulsory programmes where they learn French language and culture. However, assimilation is not without problems as many people feel that the rights of immigrants are suppressed in France. This can potentially lead to social problems between the locals and those supporting more rights for immigrants. Hence, Assimilation is one way to manage a diverse society with many different types of immigrants.

2. Integration

Integration is another way that Singapore uses to manage her diverse population. Integration refers to the process whereby people of different races, nationality and religion are welcome to reside in a country whereby their religious and cultural practices are respected and tolerated. In return, immigrants are also expected to integrate into the local society. Through integrations, there will be social harmony amongst the locals and immigrants and the cultures of immigrants are preserved. In Singapore, integration is encouraged to appropriate social policies and common experiences. Social policies used to promote integration includes bilingualism in Singapore schools as well as the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) used in housing. All students in Singapore schools must study English as their first language and their own Mother Tongue as their second language. As a result, Singaporeans learn to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds through a common language and speak their own Mother Tongue with own family and friends from their own cultures. In our public flats, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) apportion 70% to Chinese, 20% to Malays and 10% to other races in each block of HDB flat. This is according to Singapore’s racial profiles. When people of different races are living under in the same block, there will be increase interactions amongst the different races. This will allow diverse people to learn more about others and come to appreciate more diversity. Besides policies, the government also create common experiences for people of all races to live and interact with each other. For instance, schooling allow children of all races to study together and play together for at least 10 years. National service, allow young man from different races to live and train hard together to defend our nation. When people spend, prolong periods of their lives together, they will develop a greater sense of commadership and come to appreciate and treat each other better. Hence, integrations through such means provide greater social cohesion in society.

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