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Thread: cultural mosaic

  1. #1
    yanx is offline Member
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    cultural mosaic

    Hi,

    Although I am familiar with the word "multiculture", I still do not quite understand why this word has the same meaning compared with the phrase "cultural mosaic". And if I want to use "cultural mosaic", can I use it interchangeably with multiculture all the time, no matter what the situation is? Please help me with this question. Thanks!

    Take the following sentences for example:
    Sentence# 1 The UK is a multicultural society.
    Sentence# 2 The UK is a cultural mosaic.

    Are the two sentences above exactly the same in meaning, if there are subtle differences, please kindly tell me and explain a little bit. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: cultural mosaic

    Multicultural can be used as a descriptive term, reflecting the reality of a society, or as a term to describe the thinking or approach IMO- I could describe a melting pot society as multicultural. I think cultural mosaic is less flexible and would only use it for societies with a salad bowl approach. However, this is my take and others may see things differently.

  3. #3
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    Re: cultural mosaic

    I swear I remember one university professor of mine speaking of the USA as a "pizza": a common base for all (usually that of allegiance to the country and its main values), with a lot of different ingredients (ethnic groups, religious beliefs, etc) on top. And I'm not making any jokes on using a pizza instead of a salad for the definition.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  4. #4
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    Re: cultural mosaic

    I quite like the term 'cultural mosaic'. But a mosaic is a picture made up of lots of bits, and I think this accounts for the difference that Tdol noted - that 'cultural mosaic' is less flexible. So you could say something like 'British law is a cultural mosaic, made up of...' (maybe it's not in fact - I'm not a lawyer - but the example still works).

    b

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: cultural mosaic

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    I quite like the term 'cultural mosaic'.
    Me too.

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    Re: cultural mosaic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Multicultural can be used as a descriptive term, reflecting the reality of a society, or as a term to describe the thinking or approach IMO- I could describe a melting pot society as multicultural. I think cultural mosaic is less flexible and would only use it for societies with a salad bowl approach. However, this is my take and others may see things differently.
    Thanks for your detailed explanation, but melting pot seems to be a traditional notion that describes a multicultural society. So could you please also give me a couple of examples of which countries (or cultures) belong to salad bowl approach and which ones are traditional melting pot? Thanks very much!!!

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    Re: cultural mosaic

    Before 1970, the American culture seems to be described as a melting pot society, any other countries had the same experience as the USA did?

  8. #8
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    Re: cultural mosaic

    Quote Originally Posted by yanx View Post
    Thanks for your detailed explanation, but melting pot seems to be a traditional notion that describes a multicultural society. So could you please also give me a couple of examples of which countries (or cultures) belong to salad bowl approach and which ones are traditional melting pot? Thanks very much!!!
    France is, I believe, a melting pot society- they consider all citizens to be first and foremost French and are said not to keep statistics on ethnicity because that would go against this philosophy. (I should say that this is what I have read in the British press, so I am prepared to be put right on this and apologise in advance if I have got this in any way wrong)

    Britain is a salad bowl society- different ethnicities are encouraged to keep their differences.

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    Re: cultural mosaic

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    France is, I believe, a melting pot society- they consider all citizens to be first and foremost French and are said not to keep statistics on ethnicity because that would go against this philosophy. (I should say that this is what I have read in the British press, so I am prepared to be put right on this and apologise in advance if I have got this in any way wrong)

    Britain is a salad bowl society- different ethnicities are encouraged to keep their differences.
    Thanks again!!!

  10. #10
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    Re: cultural mosaic

    I think that Brazil can be considered a "melting pot' society.

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