One dominant theme on the Australian right is monoculturalism, the insistence there must be unifying set of national values, much is made of Europe’s alleged capitulation to a dread ‘cultural relativism’ (see a typical expression here). Another theme on the Australian right is devotion to the United States, or more accurately to an idealised vision of this nation. Some research by Jack Critin & John Sidoes (from which chart is drawn) compares attitudes to cultural and religious homogeneity across the US and 20 European countries. The two questions are:
1. It is better for a country if almost everyone shares the same customs and traditions?
2. It is better for a country if there are a variety of religions among its people.
Relative to Europe, much fewer Americans (slightly over 20%) support cultural or religious homogeneity. European countries record notable higher levels of support for cultural and religious homogeneity. Are there comparable Australian statistics? The Australian Survey of Social Attitudes in 2003 found that 71% of respondents believed that immigrants should ‘adapt and blend into the larger society’ but that 74% believed that ‘immigrants had made Australians open to new ideas and cultures’. Maybe Australia would be intermediate between Europe & the US?