Island nations, with their inherent isolation, are the most culturally homogeneous in the world. Homogeneity and heterogeneity are used in sociology to denote the amount of differing ethnicity among individuals. The issue of ethnic homogeneity is of great importance to geopolitics and socioeconomic environments globally. In the world today, countries with zero ethnic fractionalization are mostly small island nations, while Palestine is an example of a notable exception to this.
The index of ethnic fractionalization is used to measure the probability that two randomly selected individuals in a neighborhood belong to the same ethnic group. There are two common viewpoints on the issue of ethnic diversity. First is the view that immigration has an impact on social cohesion. The less diversity there is, the more cohesive a society remains, and democracy can smoothly run along. However, this is contrasted with the view that peaceful coexistence is the inevitable goal of social cohesion, creating a community with a sense of commonality and belonging for all, regardless of different backgrounds.
While this question has yet to be concretely answered, there is a strong negative correlation in the US and Canada between diversity and and trust: the more likely a community is to be diverse, the less trusting the individuals living in this community tend to be. Diversity can be argued to alienate people in dense urban centers.
It is no wonder then, that small island nations are particularly sensitive to the impact of immigration. Consequences are exaggerated when compared to the impact on large, already diverse countries. Many island microstates base their economy solely on tourism. Immigration can create economic unease, with the thoughts among nationals that immigrants are stealing jobs from natives.
Least Ethnically Diverse Countries In The World
While this island is an unincorporated U.S. territory, this island is populated by Samoans of Polynesian descent. Ancestral tradition is extremely important. A single tuna cannery is the primary industry, which exports several hundred million dollars of tuna to the U.S. each year. Their tourism industry on the rise.
Fa’a Samoa is the society’s culture and heritage, which guides everyday life. Its customs are over 3000 years old. Extended family, an easy-going manner, and respect for tradition makes up the core aspects of their traditional way of life. With very little diversity to interfere with cultural tradition, the most significant Western influence in American Samoa society is Christianity, the spiritual basis of the Samoan way of like. Nearly all American Samoans are Christian.
Aruba is one of the most frequented islands in the world by outsiders, with two thirds of their economy supported by tourists. While it is an autonomous part of the Netherlands, and the Dutch influence can be seen, most Arubans speak a minimum of four languages, Dutch, Spanish and English included. Arubans share a strong national identity, and have one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean.
Palestine’s last remaining wall of defense is its strong culture. Family solidarity is a surviving traditional structure after the Nakba, the creation of the Israel state in 1948, with children raised to have a sense of responsibility towards family members. Palestinian society is largely patriarchal, with fathers as the head of the house, and much of the family responsibility placed on the shoulders of the eldest son. The large number of men imprisoned by Israel has left many women as the sole breadwinner.
Palestine’s archaeological history is rich and influenced by various cultures across the ages. While the Arab-Israeli wars have led to destruction of their archaeological heritage, Palestinians have begun to safeguard their historical, local heritage through the preservation of endangered archaeological sites.
Preservation of Heritage
In a world of rising democracy, island countries cannot regard immigrants in strict demographic terms. Rights for immigrants must be taken into consideration as well as their impact on the receiving society. With already crowded space in island microstates, newcomers must be controlled to acceptable levels, lest the population should rise t a level too high for the carrying capacity of such a country. Mass tourism industries muddy the cultural waters of these uniquely homogeneous states. It is essential, then, that a government clearly state a policy on the kind of incorporation it wants for its immigrated nationals.
In small countries where cultural heritage is threatened, preservation of tradition, music, craft-making, and care for important and endangered historical sites remain a very real risk of encroaching diversity. Awareness is critical to preserve these aspects of folk heritage.