Multiculturalism, Mauritian Style

Cultural Diversity, Belonging, and a Secular State

Caroline Ng Tseung-Wong, Maykel Verkuyten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Multiculturalism is on the retreat in many Western countries. As an ideology, it is criticized for failing to engender national belonging and social cohesion and thereby to encourage groups of citizens to have parallel lives. In this article, we present the case of Mauritius that is often viewed as a successful plural society. We discuss the conditions that are conducive to a working multiculturalism in Mauritius as well as the challenges. We use empirical findings from our relatively large-scale survey research among adolescents from the three main ethnic groups (i.e., Hindus, Creoles, Muslims). The metaphorical representation of the nation as a rainbow or fruit salad means that cultural diversity forms part of the national self-image, but within a secular state where individual rights prevail. Our findings show that all participants reported strong and compatible national, ethnic, and religious group identifications and that dual identity was the most chosen identity option. Furthermore, intergroup relations tended to be positive but there was a strong preference for ethnic endogamy. Additionally, there were social psychological processes that work against harmonious intergroup relations. The article concludes by discussing what can be learned from Mauritian style multiculturalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-701
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Volume59
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Cultural Diversity
cultural diversity
multicultural society
Mauritius
ethnic group
Ethnic Groups
religious group
social cohesion
survey research
Islam
Social Identification
self-image
Muslim
ideology
citizen
adolescent
Fruit
Psychology
Group
Research

Cite this

@article{0d21471627c44cac9cd96ce7db1cbbbb,
title = "Multiculturalism, Mauritian Style: Cultural Diversity, Belonging, and a Secular State",
abstract = "Multiculturalism is on the retreat in many Western countries. As an ideology, it is criticized for failing to engender national belonging and social cohesion and thereby to encourage groups of citizens to have parallel lives. In this article, we present the case of Mauritius that is often viewed as a successful plural society. We discuss the conditions that are conducive to a working multiculturalism in Mauritius as well as the challenges. We use empirical findings from our relatively large-scale survey research among adolescents from the three main ethnic groups (i.e., Hindus, Creoles, Muslims). The metaphorical representation of the nation as a rainbow or fruit salad means that cultural diversity forms part of the national self-image, but within a secular state where individual rights prevail. Our findings show that all participants reported strong and compatible national, ethnic, and religious group identifications and that dual identity was the most chosen identity option. Furthermore, intergroup relations tended to be positive but there was a strong preference for ethnic endogamy. Additionally, there were social psychological processes that work against harmonious intergroup relations. The article concludes by discussing what can be learned from Mauritian style multiculturalism.",
keywords = "intergroup evaluations, multiculturalism, national and ethnic belonging, secular state",
author = "{Ng Tseung-Wong}, Caroline and Maykel Verkuyten",
year = "2015",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0002764214566498",
language = "English",
volume = "59",
pages = "679--701",
journal = "American Behavioral Scientist",
issn = "0002-7642",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "6",

}

Multiculturalism, Mauritian Style : Cultural Diversity, Belonging, and a Secular State. / Ng Tseung-Wong, Caroline; Verkuyten, Maykel.

In: American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 59, No. 6, 01.01.2015, p. 679-701.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Multiculturalism, Mauritian Style

T2 - Cultural Diversity, Belonging, and a Secular State

AU - Ng Tseung-Wong, Caroline

AU - Verkuyten, Maykel

PY - 2015/1/1

Y1 - 2015/1/1

N2 - Multiculturalism is on the retreat in many Western countries. As an ideology, it is criticized for failing to engender national belonging and social cohesion and thereby to encourage groups of citizens to have parallel lives. In this article, we present the case of Mauritius that is often viewed as a successful plural society. We discuss the conditions that are conducive to a working multiculturalism in Mauritius as well as the challenges. We use empirical findings from our relatively large-scale survey research among adolescents from the three main ethnic groups (i.e., Hindus, Creoles, Muslims). The metaphorical representation of the nation as a rainbow or fruit salad means that cultural diversity forms part of the national self-image, but within a secular state where individual rights prevail. Our findings show that all participants reported strong and compatible national, ethnic, and religious group identifications and that dual identity was the most chosen identity option. Furthermore, intergroup relations tended to be positive but there was a strong preference for ethnic endogamy. Additionally, there were social psychological processes that work against harmonious intergroup relations. The article concludes by discussing what can be learned from Mauritian style multiculturalism.

AB - Multiculturalism is on the retreat in many Western countries. As an ideology, it is criticized for failing to engender national belonging and social cohesion and thereby to encourage groups of citizens to have parallel lives. In this article, we present the case of Mauritius that is often viewed as a successful plural society. We discuss the conditions that are conducive to a working multiculturalism in Mauritius as well as the challenges. We use empirical findings from our relatively large-scale survey research among adolescents from the three main ethnic groups (i.e., Hindus, Creoles, Muslims). The metaphorical representation of the nation as a rainbow or fruit salad means that cultural diversity forms part of the national self-image, but within a secular state where individual rights prevail. Our findings show that all participants reported strong and compatible national, ethnic, and religious group identifications and that dual identity was the most chosen identity option. Furthermore, intergroup relations tended to be positive but there was a strong preference for ethnic endogamy. Additionally, there were social psychological processes that work against harmonious intergroup relations. The article concludes by discussing what can be learned from Mauritian style multiculturalism.

KW - intergroup evaluations

KW - multiculturalism

KW - national and ethnic belonging

KW - secular state

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84927796293&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0002764214566498

DO - 10.1177/0002764214566498

M3 - Article

VL - 59

SP - 679

EP - 701

JO - American Behavioral Scientist

JF - American Behavioral Scientist

SN - 0002-7642

IS - 6

ER -