A Duty to Integrate?

Andrew Mason

in Living Together as Equals

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199606245
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741562 | DOI:
A Duty to Integrate?

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It is sometimes held that immigrants have a duty to integrate because social or community cohesion is vital for the stability of a society. From the perspective of the justice account, this duty is most plausibly grounded in a duty to support just institutions. If the achievement and stability of reasonably just institutions depends upon social cohesion, and social cohesion depends upon integration, then there would be a potential basis for the idea that citizens are under a duty to integrate. The equal membership account provides a different perspective on these issues. It may suppose that lack of integration, or different cultural groups leading ‘parallel lives’, results from the failure of citizens to treat each other as equals, often as a result of racial prejudice which lies behind choices which, even if they are not unjust, leads to a separation between different groups.

Keywords: citizenship; immigrants; integration; social cohesion; community cohesion; national identity; prejudice; assimilation; parallel lives

Chapter.  11517 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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