Many countries want new citizens to have a basic grasp of the native language or the ability to contribute to the economy, but equally important is an understanding of culture and customs. In Western Europe and America, which have seen the emergence of many new demographics in recent decades, this idea has become a pertinent one. Though many ethnically diverse communities can attest to the success of economic migration policies, tensions have also risen. The term ‘culture war’ has become inescapable.
For example, one survey saw claims 4/10 British people feel their culture is undermined by multiculturalism. Naysayers may still be in the minority, but so are immigrants from outside the anglosphere- for now. In the UK, it is projected that the white population will continue to see negative rates of replacement, whilst minority demographics expand.
In some cases, an influx of first or second generation immigrants in urban areas has corresponded with the mass departure of white citizens in a phenomenon sometimes referred to as ‘white flight.’
The result? Self-imposed segregation; both a response to the changing face of city culture and an acceleration of it. This is no more evident than in London, with a current white British population of 44%.
In cases like this, not even integration and cohesion can protect culture. The result of a dwindling white population in traditionally white-native countries is, for them, a loss of identity. For white Americans, this might translate as a detachment from European heritage, existential angst or, as an extreme, white-nationalism.
Europe’s relationship with burgeoning ethnic-diverse demographics is different, but equally troubled- note the rise of far-right groups and anti-immigrant sentiment.
With the stage set like this, it’s hard to envisage a loosening of citizenship requirements in economically desirable nations. That culture can bend doesn’t rule out that it will break.