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Wither Multiculturalism? – An Analysis of the Impact on Welfare Practice and Theory of Policy Responses to an Increasingly Multicultural Society in the UK
- Clive Sealey (Social Policy and Theory, University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester, 01905542272, E-mail: email@example.com)
The UK is becoming an increasingly multicultural society, driven by a variety of demographic changes, particularly increased net migration from EU10 and the EU2 enlargement over the last 20 years. In response to this, there have been two main policy focus, that of reducing immigration and limiting entitlement to welfare benefits for migrants. This article will analyse the challenges that the latter of these policy changes in particular pose for practice, both in terms of its application and its theoretical implications. In terms of practice application, the paper outlines how the limitation of entitlement to welfare benefits on the one hand amplifies already existing issues, and on the other creates new challenges for social welfare practitioners with migrant groups. In terms of theoretical implications, the paper will outline how these policies reflects a retreat in policy away from multiculturalism towards assimilation, such as in relation to specifying the assimilation of ‘Britishness’ and ‘British values’ in daily life. Underpinning this retreat from multiculturalism is a changed citizenship, or more specifically the diminution of social citizenship rights integral to being complete citizens.
Keywords: multicultural, multiculturalism, assimilation, migration, social policy