The needless offending of certain convictions and communities has no place here. Balkenende invoked a historical representation of Dutch identity as one of toleration and respect, to argue for acceptance of cultural and religious diversity in the present. It is the identity content that gives direction to what we think and do. This was especially found among majority Dutch who considered their national identity important, which is in line with the social identity perspective that argues that higher identifiers are more likely to act in accordance with salient group norms than lower identifiers.
Both of these, in turn, were associated with more tolerance of Muslim expressive rights. However, the content of national identity can also be used to argue against specific beliefs and practices. A national holiday would make Islam part of the imagined national community, which for many Germans is one bridge too far.
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This argument is typically made in comparison to the alleged intolerance of some immigrant groups, and Muslims in particular. In portraying immigrants and minority groups as transgressing our traditional tolerant way of life, minority groups are positioned as undermining the continuity of our identity and as being incompatible with the essence of who we are. This means that policy makers would be well advised to pay close attention to how a discourse of toleration is interpreted, presented, and used.
Such work highlights the importance of paying close attention to how the discourse about tolerance is used in public debate and policy as its implications are likely to be far from uniform. Tolerance would be a strand of depoliticization because it would hide power and can be an impoverished substitute for full and equal rights.
The discourse of tolerance can undermine both of these aspects. First, tolerance discourse can have a hampering effect on collective action of minority group members by reducing their perceived sense of control and feelings of collective efficacy. By feeling that one's standing and membership within the larger society is precarious and dependent on the good grace of those around, the tolerated can feel a decreased sense of control over their own lives.
However, tolerance of minority group beliefs and practices might lead to inaction of majority members because of the conviction that fair and equal treatment is already secured by being a tolerant society. Furthermore, majority members might not tolerate acts that aim to mobilize minority members to express their identity. Participants were asked whether Muslims should be allowed to try to convince others to do the same thing.
The findings clearly showed this to be the case see also Van Doorn, Campaigning for support and persuading others implies mobilizing Muslims, for example, to start wearing a headscarf, to stop shaking hands with people of the opposite sex, and to found more Islamic schools. These findings indicate that practicing toleration can be threatening for majority group members. Feelings of threat are among the most important drivers of exclusionary and discriminatory reactions, including intolerance Gibson, a. The policy implication is that it is important to consider what causes feelings of threat and the different types of threat that can be involved e.
This is critical for developing tools to manage and change feelings of threat among the majority and thereby make toleration more likely. Policy makers and authorities should not dismiss people's specific concerns and fears as prejudicial, and could, for example, reassure people about issues that are non negotiable, and emphasize that legal boundaries defining individual human rights in the national context are guaranteed. Toleration is in between full acceptance and unrestrained opposition Scanlon, It allows minorities to conditionally express their cultural and religious identities, provides access to resources and rights, and protects them from violence.
Toleration acts as a barrier to discrimination and implies that minority members are permitted and allowed to express and enact their group identity. Thus, in contrast to discrimination, toleration can be expected to have positive psychological implications for those being tolerated, especially under a respect understanding of tolerance. Yet, being tolerated can have negative psychological meanings when compared to recognition and full acceptance.
Permission toleration is only likely to satisfy minority members when they themselves accept that what they believe and do is in some respect objectionable. If not, negative social psychological implications are likely because toleration can be seen as a discourse of power and domination. Some scholars have argued that it is a poor substitute for the recognition and affirmation that minority members need, thus making it necessary to go beyond mere tolerance Parekh, However, there are various possible implications that we can briefly mention.
Permission toleration implies objection toward one's beliefs, and practices and can be experienced as noninterference based on a dismissive attitude: the majority grudgingly agrees to turn a blind eye or puts up with minorities. In doing so, the larger society's disapproval of minority identities and practices is implicitly affirmed. What is being tolerated transgresses or deviates from what is considered appropriate and normative and the implied deviance and inferiority thereby threatens a valued group membership among the tolerated. Furthermore, tolerance can be based on a relatively strict distinction between what can be expressed and practiced in the public versus the private sphere Forst, In that case, beliefs and practices related to minority group identities e.
For example, Denmark's assimilation policy constitutes toleration with the privatization of dissenting cultural practices. While minorities are not coerced into adopting the majority culture, they are expected to keep their culture as much as possible in the private sphere Tawat, A problem with this approach is that it considers cultural and religious identities as only private affairs that do not require public enactment. This means that toleration can be perceived by minority members as an implicit form of unequal treatment whereby society itself is not considered just and worthwhile and the practices and policies of toleration are seen as confirming the lack of social recognition and respect Honneth, Such a perspective may imply that the tolerated individual or group experiences a decreased sense of belonging within society as their practices are not valued, but merely tolerated.
Furthermore, the moral disapproval implied in permission toleration is more implicit which makes it particularly difficult to convince others of the negative implications of toleration. While people in many places across the world recognize that it is wrong to discriminate and it is illegal to do so in many countries , it is much more challenging to demonstrate the harm of being tolerated.
Complaints about mere tolerance might be seen as unreasonable, unjustified, and demanding, similar to the discrediting of those who face and contest implicit biases.
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Minority members may, therefore, refrain from expressing their viewpoints on the topic of being tolerated to people in the majority or those belonging to privileged groups, which may lead to greater social distancing. More research is needed to empirically examine the consequences of tolerance for minority groups in order to better understand its implications for public policy. Yet, it is clear that policy makers should be sensitive to the unintended negative consequences that an emphasis on toleration can have for those who are tolerated. Being tolerated without feeling acknowledged and respected as an equal citizen may be harmful.
In this article, we have discussed the importance of tolerance for the management of diversity within culturally and religious plural societies. It is understandable that tolerance is widely promoted and embraced across a wide range of countries and settings for trying to establish mutual acceptance and peaceful coexistence. However, we have argued that for policies and interventions, it is important to consider the difficulty of tolerance Scanlon, and to consider its possible drawbacks Brown, However, this difficulty and the potential drawbacks do not mean that an emphasis on tolerance and toleration is not important and not useful.
Intergroup tolerance may not be a silver bullet, nor the sovereign formula or panacea for the complex questions surrounding cultural diversity. But it is a minimal condition for living together despite meaningful differences. It forms a barrier against discrimination, hostility, conflict, and a critical condition for citizenship and democracy.
It requires a standard, based on our beliefs and values, of what we think is best, together with establishing an allowable variation from that standard, including when something should no longer be tolerated. It is difficult to know what to tolerate without establishing standards and allowable variations of it. In the absence of such specifications, one might find it easier to simply reject things that they disapprove of or rather try to take the seemingly moral high ground by just accepting almost everything.
To encourage intergroup tolerance, successful policies need to set norms and stimulate the willingness and ability to disagree and put up with group differences. Based on the theoretical and empirical literature discussed, we would like to highlight several issues that should be considered in policy development and implementation:. The focus should be on concrete cases or situations rather than abstract principles. Presenting and discussion dissenting beliefs and practices in moral terms make toleration more difficult.
Tolerance is not a global construct but depends on whom, what, and when people are asked to tolerate dissenting beliefs and practices, and principled reasons rather than prejudicial attitudes can underlie nonacceptance. Perspective taking and intercultural interactions should be stimulated because they can promote a better understanding of the specific reasons behind dissenting practices and beliefs. It should be recognized that tolerance is much more vulnerable than intolerance: it is easier to convince tolerant people to give up their tolerant attitudes than to persuade intolerant people to become more tolerant.
Authorities, politicians, and policy makers play an important role in setting toleration norms and building inclusive institutions and egalitarian citizenship regimes. Promoting intergroup tolerance in political discourse, promulgating tolerance in policies, and teaching tolerance at schools is not easy and can also have negative consequences. Successful policies have to take many factors into account e. Tolerance should not be a substitute for justice and substantive equality and policy makers should emphasize that not everything can and should be tolerated, especially not intolerance.
Tolerance is not the same as relativism and should not be an excuse for letting things slide by. There are basic values and principles that are the foundations of a society. One's own freedom should not be at the expense of someone else's, and the right to religious freedom goes together with a duty to recognize and respect the beliefs of others. Furthermore, other values such as gender equality, freedom of expression, free choice of a partner, and the right to apostasy cannot be violated without consequences. For the public debate, this implies that people should be able to critically question each other and set standards together.
Policy makers should communicate explicitly that any discussions about un acceptable practices can only take place within legal boundaries defining human rights and individual freedoms embedded in constitutional laws. His main research interests are in questions of social identity, intergroup relations and cultural diversity. His primary research is on the topics of diversity, national identity, and intergroup relations, while his secondary interest lies in applying social psychological research to the fields of communication, politics, and robotics.
His main research interests are in diversity, intergroup relations, and group criticism. He also conducts research on conflict reduction, collective responsibility, competitive victimhood, and Just War Theory. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.
Social Issues and Policy Review. Soc Issues Policy Rev. Published online Sep Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Maykel Verkuyten, Email: ln. Corresponding author. Abstract In recent decades, tolerance has been proposed as a necessary response to the global rise in cultural and religious diversity.
Tolerance and Prejudice Most existing initiatives and policies focusing on tolerance between different groups in society deal with combating prejudice, xenophobia, and racism. Types of Intergroup Toleration Forst makes a distinction between permission and respect forms of toleration. Perspective Taking Tolerance is not indifference i. The Asymmetry of Tolerance Research has demonstrated that it is easier to convince tolerant people to give up their tolerance than to persuade intolerant people to become more tolerant e.
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The Boundaries of Tolerance Countries adopting multicultural policies e. Intergroup Differentiation Toleration involves the relation between those who tolerate and those who are tolerated. Tolerance and Minority Outcomes Toleration is in between full acceptance and unrestrained opposition Scanlon, Conclusions In this article, we have discussed the importance of tolerance for the management of diversity within culturally and religious plural societies. Based on the theoretical and empirical literature discussed, we would like to highlight several issues that should be considered in policy development and implementation: The focus should be on concrete cases or situations rather than abstract principles.
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CrossRef Google Scholar. Such a distinction has been stressed by B. It has been further analysed by P. See especially P. This issue is raised by D. Raphael maintains that the subject of toleration can only be morally disapproved of behaviour or practices. In his argument, then, choice becomes a necessary condition for an act to be tolerated. Mary Warnock, on the other hand, argues that toleration may also be directed to what is merely disliked. See M. In Toleration and the Limits of Liberalism pp. See on this point, A. See J.
This is the position maintained by N. Cf also N. See B. Laslett and J. Fishkin, eds. For communitarians, in order to choose rationally, we must know who we are, and since our identity is defined by our attachments as well as by our ends and projects, the agent cannot sensibly be conceived of independently from his aims. See, for example, M. For a discussion of autonomy as the grounds for toleration see Mendus, Toleration and the Limits of Liberalism ,pp. This idea is prominent in the following.
For a comment see D. On this point see H. See, for example, W. Margalit and J. Culture is necessary not only as a basket of options, and as a network of meanings, but also because it sorts autonomous actions from whimsical choices. The paradoxical consequences of this extreme position is that non-conformist and heterodox actions are judged as non-autonomous. La filosofia politica americana contemporanea ,Sebastiano Maffettone, ed. This position is shared by G. Sartorius, ed. These positions contrast with J. Van deVeer, Paternalistic Intervention; J.