The future of western societies: multicultural identity or extreme nationalism?

C.G. van der Veer

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Y2K study assumed that ideas about the future among the young generation might tell something about the direction of that future, since it would be increasingly in charge. The respondents in 1967 tended to hope for more equality (classes, genders, nations, races) but were pessimistic in their predictions, though extreme nationalism and xenophobia were not really on the map yet. The article then reviews or presents recent studies on attitudes to various categories of immigrants and forms of integration. Differences relate to the country the study was made in (the Netherlands most positive) and the category of immigrants one asks about :'Asylum seekers' seen negatively and 'illegal immigrants' even more so. The youngest respondents are generally most positive, or least negative; this may indicate that intolerance and racism is again on its way out after a period of growth. The future that may be foreseen on the basis of this lies somewhere between the multiculturalism some hope for and the integration by sheer assimilation that others demand. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-187
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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