4.4.7 Inclusive Moral Behaviour

Peaceful pluralism requires everyone in a society to show inclusive moral behaviour: taking positive steps to know each other better.

Previous sections have described the characteristics of peaceful pluralism and discussed some of the behavioural requirements for avoiding conflict.  Active steps need to be taken to promote social harmony, preferably from within the community.  This subject has been extensively studied, as for example in the Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on Social cohesion in diverse communities:

“The study takes a critical look at the meaning of social cohesion for new and established residents in Moss Side in Manchester and North Tottenham in the London Borough of Haringey. It describes patterns of neighbourhood diversity and residents’ accounts of social interaction, within their own ethnic groups and across others.” [Introduction]

“Respondents involved in participatory activities tended to have a strong sense of wanting to make their neighbourhoods a better place to live in. Undertaking formal community participation was one of the few contexts in which people identified with the whole neighbourhood as a community” [p. 89]

The following sub-sections examine some of the positive actions which can be taken to increase harmony and integration:

Teaching inclusive moral behaviour to children, by both parents and schools, is of prime importance ( Children need to learn about each other’s cultures, so they understand each other better.

Both adults and children need to interact with people from other cultural groups, to increase familiarity and reduce mutual suspicion (

Peer-group pressure can play an important part in combating divisiveness ( People should speak out if others are behaving badly, and community leaders can also use their moral influence.

Immigrants will be more readily accepted if the host community and the immigrants themselves take the appropriate measures (

Although the law and government can contribute by creating a propitious framework, as will be discussed in the next two chapters, personal behaviour is the most powerful way of ensuring peaceful coexistence.



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This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/447.htm.