CHAPTER 6 : WHAT ARE THE EXPERIENCES AND EFFECTS OF LIVING IN A DIVERSE…
CHAPTER 6 : WHAT ARE THE EXPERIENCES AND EFFECTS OF LIVING IN A DIVERSE SOCIETY?
EXCHANGE AND APPRECIATION IN A DIVERSE SOCIETY
Exchange and Appreciation of culture
These richer experience and all the positive outcomes can lead to more choices and variety as seen in areas such as food, music and fashion, for the society which indirectly affect the quality of life of the society positively
Hence, exchange and appreciation of culture has led to richer life experiences for the society where there can be fusion of different culture as well as local and foreign ideas.
Eg. Singaporean Chef Willin Low's fusion between Singapore and modern European dining like char siew pork burger
Thus, there can be a higher standard and quality of life for the society
Exchange of Skills and Knowledge
Hence, exchange of skills and knowledge can help to bring in new skills and knowledge, and even make significant new innovations and discoveries such as the H1N1 flu vaccine which can help to develop the capabilities and competencies of an economy
Thus, exchange of skills and knowledge can bring innovations which positively impact the development of the country's economy
Eg. In areas of research and development with overseas experts. Foreign scientists can share their knowledge and expertise to help strengthen research competencies, and collaboration with Singaporeans. For instance, the Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) of the Agency for Science, Technology and Reseach (A*STAR) funds and supports public research initiatives in SG. Under BMRC, internationally renowned scientists with expertise and knowledge to jump-start the country's biomedical sciences moved to SG
CHALLENGES IN A DIVERSE SOCIETY
COMPETITION FOR RESOURCES
There are concerns over
standard of living
, such as employment, housing and transportation. An example of a concern over the impact of the inflow of foreigners is that there is an increasingly congested public transport. Singaporeans also fear that foreigners are taking jobs away. Perceptions that foreign manpower has taken jobs away from Singaporeans will heighten the existing tension between foreigners and Singaporeans. Singaporeans may be unhappy and frustrated, hence they will choose not to accept these foreigners and respect them.
As Singapore's population continues to increase, there is competition in the form of opportunities or availability of infrastructure.
When there is competition for resources, citizens may be unhappy as they are suffering due to the population growth. The ability of Singaporeans to earn living in their own country may be affected and because of this, they may also choose to migrate to other countries. Singapore may suffer from brain drain and the age-dependency ratio will worsen.
Similarly,there are also concerns over
Income gaps between lower and higher income groups have increased over the years. Hence, many Singaporeans feel that social mobility is being limited.
PREJUDICE AND MISCONCEPTIONS
Having prejudice can mean that there will often be misunderstandings, conflicts and discrimination. When there is discrimination against a certain group of people, those people will feel isolated, and the country itself will not be bonded as one. There will be tension among everyone and It will affect the country's national identity and may affect the country as it is not a cohesive society. This may hinder the country's progession and affect it's prosperity and economic growth. Thus, it is serious as it can result in damage to the whole country. Prejudices will only threaten the social fabric and hurt multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies like Singapore
Eg. religious and racial prejudice has led to discriminatory behaviour towards certain groups of people. Arabs and Muslim-Americans became victims of hate crimes in America after the 9/11 terrorist attacks
In a diverse society, differences in cultural background can lead to differing and sometimes conflicting views on values, beliefs and customs. Negative sentiments can arise when people jump to conclusions about others and make incorrect judgements due to insufficient understanding and erroneous assumptions.