Monoculturalism is the practice of actively preserving a national culture via the exclusion of external influences. Japan, China, South Korea, and North Korea are examples of monoculturalism. Usually a monocultural society exists by racial homogeneity, nationalistic tendencies, geographic isolation, or political isolation (sometimes but not always under a totalitarian regime).

Recently, right-wing governments in several European states, notably the Netherlands and Denmark, have reversed the national policy and returned to an official monoculturalism. A similar reversal is the subject of debate in the United Kingdom and others, due to evidence of incipient segregation and anxieties over homegrown terrorism.

Several heads-of-government have expressed doubts about the success of multicultural policies: British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy have voiced concerns about the effectiveness of their multicultural policies for integrating immigrants.

Nazi Germany practiced monoculturalism as part of its campaign for Pan-Germanism and German nationalism, but monoculturalism was typical of the era and many European countries were monocultural at that time. Some European countries are still effectively monocultural because of he people's shared culture and ethnicity, like Finland.

Ethnocentric Monoculturalism

The idea of monoculturalism can be expanded to that of ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism being the idea that one's ethnic background is superior to that of others. A feeling of superiority is one that can project mono-cultural ideals in an attempt to justify intrinsic ways of thinking. In Nations with a majority of the population being white, ethnocentrism is blindly put upon those of other cultural backings. The idea of ethnocentrism being combined with monoculturalism yields many examples from history. Most obvious is the Holocaust, but further from that is any instance of genocide or simple racism. In defining genocide you can find the correlation it has with monoculturalism, and how it can be a resultant of mono-cultural, as well as, ethnocentic thinking.[1]


American Politics

One of the most prominent examples of monoculturalism in American Politics is the birther-ism issue in regard to President Obama's campaign.[2] While there have been several other instances of candidate's birthplaces being called into question, none of the others have been placed on a basis of race or religion similar to this. During his successful bid for president, President Obama was questioned repetitively on the basis of his birthplace. Many of the backers to this claim came from the Conservative side of the spectrum, as well as, a portion of Senator Clinton's supporters. Current presidential nominee, Donald Trump was one of the most prominent forces pushing the idea that President Obama wasn't born here. Yet, even after Obama's birth certificate was released, Trump did not accept or confirm it until September 2016, during his own presidential bid.[3]

In Genocide

Over the course of our history we have exhibited expansive demonstrations of Genocide. Many of these being drawn on an ethnic origin line. Ethnic supremacy is assumed by one group within a culture, following some distinct action by an external group or from one of the ethnic groups. With European intervention in places like Rwanda, social institutions worked to socially construct an ethnic inferiority, distinguishing the Hutu's and Tutsi's from one another and causing what would be one of the most horrific demonstrations of genocide in modern history.[4]

A similar example to that of the Rwandan Genocide was the ongoing civil war in Burma. The civil war spanned from a constitution that granted Burma their independence from England, in which a group of leaders created conditions that didn't involve many of Burma's Ethnic Minorities, and instigated a fight from them.[5] Many of these ethnic minorities in Burma, including the Karen have been significantly displaced by the military junta and placed into refugee camps in bordering nations. The remaining ethnic minorities have been living in poor conditions, and have been met by a variety of human rights abuses.


Globalization is the unification of the entire world through a variety of different formats, like trade and investment. This projects monoculturalism upon people, due to the fact that by unifying the world we would need to all be subject to some sort of unified standard.[6] This wouldn't leave room for other cultures to sustain their prominence and would continue to forego the resultant of monoculturalism which is loss and suppression of culture only on a global scale.

See also

Further reading


  1. Sue, Derald Wing. "Whiteness and Ethnocentric Monoculturalism: Making the "Invisible" Visible". American Psychologist. November 2004.
  2. Kumar, Hari Stephen. "“I Was Born . . .” (No You Were Not!): Birtherism And Political Challenges To Personal Self-Authorizations."Qualitative Inquiry 19.8 (2013): 621-633.
  3. Barbaro, Michael. "Donald Trump Clung to 'Birther' Lie for Years, and Still Isn't Apologetic". 9/6/2016. NY Times.
  4. White, Kenneth R. "Scourge of Racism: Genocide in Rwanda". Journal of Black Studies. Vol. 39, No. 3 (Jan., 2009), pp. 471-472.
  5. "Tracking Genocide: Persecution of the Karen in Burma". Texas international law journal. Volume: 48 Issue: 1 Page: 63 10/01/2012.
  6. Marsella, Anthony (2005). ""Hegemonic" Globalization and Cultural Diversity: The Risks of Global Monoculturalism" (PDF). Australian Mosaic. Issue 11 Number 13: 15–16.
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