Is it possible to have a multi-cultural society ? Mankind has certainly tried over the centuries to establish such, with limited success. Even The United States of America whose stated purpose was " freedom " for all mankind is struggling to achieve that utopia. I don't think it will ever be achieved for a very basic reason, human nature.
A society is a group of people involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations.
The very definition of a society precludes that from happening. Dominant cultural expectations is the biggest stumbling block. Otherwise known as assimilation to a society. Expectations are dependent upon the upbringing and traditions that you are exposed to. The American tradition is predominately European at its' roots and that can not be denied. Africans were introduced to our society as slaves. Their willingness to assimilate to our society has been less than enthusiastic. Who could find fault with that ? I'm positive if the roles were reversed the reaction would be exactly the same. That is human nature, all humans ! So, that is one aspect and the other is religious beliefs. Not so much the " belief " part but the practicing of that belief. Remember there was a time when human sacrifice was considered part of the religious experience. Right now in America, and indeed in a lot of places in the world, a certain religious practice is now being called " extreme. " Sacrifice wasn't extreme back in the day, it was expected. Now a certain component of a religion is considered " extreme. " But, it is still what is expected in some areas.
There are those that propose the abandonment of religious belief as a solution to the problem. If we just ignore the spiritual aspect of life and base everything on verifiable " facts " that should make it easier. The problem there is you have to eliminate compassion and charity. How can you justify those " feelings " with facts ? It is being attempted by the writing of laws. We will delineate entitlements and benefits so as to ensure the even distribution of such. An " enlightened " approach ? Also the reasoning behind the " acceptance " of social behaviors commonly held to be deviant in nature. Remove any " eternal ramifications " from a behavior and you remove the reason for abstinence from those behaviors. You see how that works ? It is also tied to cultural expectations.
It takes centuries for cultures to develop and change. Our culture has changed somewhat over time but I would submit not in a basic way. We have made strives toward human equality and that is where it has to begin. We do not have to learn acceptance because accepting is not the same as practicing. It is only when the society practices their beliefs together that the society prospers. Look at America during WW2 as an example. Strides were taken, on equal rights, because the society was working toward a common goal. Japanese Americans suffered because of that. They were interred for the safety of all. Today we would call that racist and uncalled for. What was the real reason ; cultural differences. Was it really unreasonable to think that Japanese folks in America might support their countrymen ? Paranoia ? Yes, it could very well have been so. But the point is they were viewed as practicing a different culture. They weren't Europeans that much was sure. What were their religious beliefs ? Did they even have religious beliefs ? These are folks that think suicide is an expected practice should you be dishonored ! Quite the cultural difference from what the average American believed. I wasn't around in 1941 to say with authority but I don't think there were many folks claiming to be any sort of hyphenated American at that time. All this African, Italian or whatever American stuff didn't come along until much later. Back then the goal was to be an American ! Immigrants wished to assimilate to the society, not exist within it as a separate group. And that is why I say a multi-cultural society is a utopia that can not exist. A society may form from an amalgamation of many cultures, ie: The United States of America, but ultimately must become a society. In order for that to happen we must all agree on two components. Religious belief and Cultural expectations. Will mankind ever reach a consensus on that ? One can only pray ! But if we eliminate prayer then what ? Then what is the standard we judge behaviors against ?
I just don't believe it is reasonable to expect everyone to " accept " the practices of others that are in conflict with their own personal beliefs or practices. If they " accepted " it would they not then practice it ? Isn't that acceptance ? As far as tolerating goes, it does have limitations. It is limited to the point were it interferes with my own actions. I will only tolerate just so much ! Human nature. So, all that being said, one would have to say a society is a group of people that are prejudicial and biased toward all those that are not perceived as a part of that society. That includes everyone doesn't it ? Deal with that issue and you will have dealt with the issue we all face, obedience. Isn't that the real issue ? To whom do you owe obedience ? Consider the question carefully.