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A) One reason why David Blunkett wants to introduce the ‘Britishness Tests’ is because he feels that understanding the UK’s way of life will help immigrants to take part in the British society. Assimilation is increasing as the ethnic minorities are adopting the mainstream culture of the British society. This may show that as immigrants enter the country they adopt to the culture to feel part of the society. This may also increase the immigrant’s sense of values that we hold within Britain if a ‘Britishness Test’ is introduced.
A second reason why David Blunkett wants to introduce this test is that he wants to see a greater pride from British people about their own culture and identity. British pride is shown through the symbols and rituals that are followed. The symbols include flags, anthems and monuments this show Britishness as they are present in many places and are valued by many of the British members. Rituals such as the Queen’s speech as also valued by many people as they are proud of their country.
Schusden talks about how people celebrate their nationality through symbols and rituals and unite us in Britishness. This shows that these types of values could show how Britishness is measured. B) One criticism of the ‘Britishness Tests’ is that Globalisation is increasing. The boundaries are blurring in nations. This means that there are more varieties within the people living in the UK. Therefore Britishness does not fit extremely well as the variations go away from Britishness and focus more on the Globalisation of the country.
Waters states that Celtic identities within Britain separate the British Identity as there are many people that say they are Scottish, welsh etc. this shows that people have different identities within Britain and that people see themselves in a global culture. A second criticism of the ‘Britishness Tests’ is multiculturalism. As we live in a society where there is the co – existence of two or more distinctive ethnic groups we are more exceptive of other norms, values and ways of life. Ethnic minority cultures and identities are slowly changing.
This may represent a normal development of the culture rather than a step towards assimilation. Nevertheless, the divisions between cultures seem to be getting more blurred. Britishness cannot be measured when there are many different ethnic groups living together because they are sharing their views and beliefs on culture. C) One agent of secondary socialisation that creates ethnic identities is peer groups. Johal’s concept of the white mask focused on second and third generation British Asians.
He found that they have a dual identity in that they inherit an Asian identity and adopt a British one. This results in Asian youth adopting a ‘white mask’ in order to interact with white peers at school or college, but emphasising their cultural difference whenever they feel it is necessary. This shows that peers can have a huge impact on creating an ethnic identity. Tony Sewell suggests that young African-Caribbean’s are overly influenced by commercial popular culture and its emphasis on designer labels and logos in constructing a personal identity and ethnicity.