Causes of ethnic diversity

Now a day, most countries, including Malaysia, became multicultural societies due to political and economical policies as well as the impact of globalization which leads to growing inter-connection and interdependence in the world. Ethnic diversity occurred due to the international population movement such as (Inglis):

  • refugee movements
  • asylum seekers
  • permanent immigration
  • contract labour
  • future development (create a potential momentum and opportunity for movement).

There are a lot of differences between individuals and groups with respect to race and ethnicity, gender, religion, language acquisition and application, custom, etc.

What could be the difference between “society” and “community” in terms of its function and role?

You may do further reading:


Even though multi-ethnic groups live collectively within a country, there are many factors that had created the social segmentation due to ethnicity and ethnocentrism based on economic functions, culture, religion, language, values, etc. This phenomena even exists within the same ethnic group or people who identify themselves as in the same sub-ethnic group due to different socioeconomic status, gender, language and educational background, religion, and so on and so forth.

There are many issues involved:

  • Would you consider this multicultural and multi-ethnic society as being integrated harmoniously or a secular society with little or none interconnection? Why would you say so?
  • What could be the characteristic of multiculturalism? How far is this ideology being practiced in our context?
  • How should the minorities be integrated into a culturally diversed society? Do you favour the idea of assimilation or amalgamation or pluralism (Syed Ismail & Ahmad Subki, 2012)? Why?
  • How can these issues of racism and discrimination such as differences and inequality among the multi-cultural groups and/or within the same ethnic group be resolved?
  • Now, reflect on our school environment, what type of community do we have? How is it related to the society at large?

We shall look into all these different aspects one by one. It will be advice able for you to do more extensive reading in order to know the subject better before sharing your ideas over certain topic of discussion.



Inglis, Christine. (n.d.). Multicuturalism: new policy responses to diversity. Management of Social Transformations – Most. Policy Paper – No. 4. Retrieved Jan 5, 2015 from 

Syed Ismail Syed Mustapa & Ahmad Subki Miskon. (2012). Budaya dan pembelajaran. Puchong: Penerbitan Multimedia Sdn. Bhd.

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