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3. The Diversity of Culture 73.

Britain comprises an extraordinary variety of different cultural communities. Taken as a whole it includes people from many different ethnic traditions and backgrounds, with a wide range of religious beliefs, and of none; of political and ideological convictions and speaking many different languages and dialects. Overlapping all of these there are strong regional traditions and identities; and often stark contrasts between rural and urban communities; and the patterns of population and ways of life in our cities. This is not new. It follows from our complex history of economic and political involvement in many different areas of the world and from the patterns of emigration and immigration they have involved.


Since the 1950s there has been a marked change in patterns of population in some cities following the settlement of families from India, Bangladesh, Bengal, Pakistan, Africa the Caribbean and from other former colonies and dependencies. Britain is also home for large numbers of communities whose cultural roots are in many different parts of Europe, in the Middle and Far East: and to many faith communities including Jewish, Hindu, and Muslim as well as Christian. In some of our large city schools there are literally dozens of languages spoken by the pupils: and in some there is a majority for whom English itself is a second language.


This diversity is now central to the vitality of our national culture and a distinctive feature of it. There are immense benefits in this and there are deep problems. The patterns of race relations over the past forty years, positive and negative, are well documented: the problems of racism, where they occur, are persistent, and insidious. An approach to cultural education based on the roles we identify later will help to reap the benefits of this diversity and to mitigate the difficulties of intercultural understanding.

We want a society that has a sense of what distinguishes it from, as well as unites it with, other societies. This will be a society conscious of its own identity or identities, aware of its own past and of the different pasts of its various communities, and respectful without being uncritical of its own customs and traditions. Dr. Nick Tate, Chief executive, QCA

The Evolution of Culture 76.

Culture in the biological sense implies growth and transformation. This is true of the social culture. One of the consequences of the dynamics and diversity of social cultures is an irresistible process of change. Some years ago a national newspaper campaigned with the slogan, ÒTimes change, values donÕtÓ. For all the reasons we have suggested, the Cultural Education

NACCCE report


ken robinson et al 1999_all our futures  

All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education Report to the Secretary of State for Education and Employment the Secretary of State for...