Benefitting from popular culture through education in enhancing social cohesion in multicultural Canada
Dilmurat (Maihemuti), Mahmut (Dilimulati)
education , popular culture , elite culture , high culture , lifelong learning , social cohesion , multicultural Canada
Social cohesion has been one of the core concerns of various nations in the world. Globalization and international migration is making this concern increasingly paramount for many contemporary multicultural states including Canada. In Canada, some perceive the diverse cultural values of immigrants as a threat to social cohesion. This article, based on a synthesis of existing literature, argues that emphasizing elite culture or high culture in various educational contexts and processes could be harmful to maintaining and enhancing social cohesion, as this cultural form is highly sophisticated, specific to some elite groups, and sometimes exclusivist. This article also contends that intelligently employing popular culture in various educational contexts and processes could prove to be very effective in enhancing social harmony in Canadian multicultural context. As popular culture is more accessible than high culture, popular culture may be more easily internalised by diverse peoples. This process may facilitate mutual understanding and harmony in multicultural societies. This article proposes specific ways to employ popular culture elements in lifelong learning contexts, namely, schools, workplaces and social media platforms in order to achieve that goal. In the information age, benefiting from popular culture through both formal and informal education could turn out to be conducive to creating and enhancing social cohesion and harmony, especially in multicultural nations like Canada.