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INTERCULTURAL HEALTHCARE HANDOUT important concepts in alphabetical order Assimilation: Assimilation describes the process of social, cultural, and political integration of a minority into a dominant culture and society. This is the melting pot theory, when the new group loses its own identity and becomes part of the majority culture. Up until the 1980ies, it was expected of ethnic minorities to ’melt into’ the new society and give up their own characteristics. Cultural pluralism is the contrast. Cultural pluralism Smaller groups within a larger society maintain their unique cultural identities, and their values and practices are accepted by the wider culture provided they are consistent with the laws and values of the wider society. It is not only a fact but a societal goal. Assimilation is not required here, just peaceful co-existence and mutual respect. It is the mosaic society. It is the basic idea behind intercultural healthcare. People are entitled to keep their own practices in ...