Multicultural society is another term for plural society. One example of a country that is a plural society is Indonesia, Switzerland and the United States. Indonesia is called a plural society because Indonesia has many distinctive differences. Among these are differences in ethnicity, customs, culture and regionalism.
According to Furnival in this Sociology book, a plural society is a society that consists of two or more elements that live independently without any mixing with one another in a political entity.
In a plural society, there are usually majority and minority groups. And usually the minorities here are discriminated against by the dominant / majority. In the case of colonialism, the majority are the colonialists, while the colonized people are a minority. In the case of Japanese occupation, the minority, namely the Indonesian nation, was discriminated against by being exploited to the utmost, both its resources and human resources. Exploitation of humans is done by imposing Romusha policy, or better known as forced labor. The Indonesian people then realized their suffering at the hands of the invaders, then they struggled to free themselves.
After independence, there were many rebellions of religious beliefs against the national government, as did DI / TII, RMS, and PRRI, accompanied by various efforts to separate themselves from Indonesia as happened in Aceh, Riau and Papua, which eventually had to be suppressed. militarily.
What is meant by minority groups here are “people who due to physical characteristics of the body or the origin of their offspring or culture are separated from other people and are treated unfairly or unfairly in the society in which they live.”
These minorities are treated as outsiders, subjected to mockery and ridicule in society, they also occupy unfavorable positions in social life, because they are limited in a number of social, economic, and political opportunities. Their low position is also manifested in the form of limited access to educational opportunities and limitations in the progress of work and the profession. While the dominant or majority are those who enjoy high social status and a number of many privileges
The concept of discrimination is used to refer to actions and treatments that are different and disadvantage those who differ ethically from the dominant group. Which includes social ascriptive groups are ethnic groups (including racial groups, ethnic cultures, and religious beliefs), gender or gender, and age.
In another source from the internet, it is stated that plural society is different from multicultural society.
Multiculturalism is an ideology that emphasizes recognition and respect for the equality of cultural differences. Included in the understanding of culture are supporters of culture, both individually and in groups, and especially aimed at ascriptive social groups namely ethnicity (and race), gender, and age. This multiculturalism ideology together supports each other with the processes of democratization, which are the equality of individual actors (HAM) in dealing with the power of local communities.
If this multiculturalism is implemented, then the people will inevitably be together in an effort to spread and stabilize the ideology of democracy and nationality in a balanced portion. So that everyone in Indonesia will later have awareness and responsibility as an Indonesian citizen and will not act arbitrarily towards other people or groups classified as themselves, and be able to logically refuse discrimination by the dominant group.
So, to overcome the problems that arise in a plural society, it is better to apply the concept of multiculturalism, which will spur this nation to join hands to strengthen their plurality in a unity, namely one as an Indonesian citizen.