). In other words, not only is there cultural heterogeneity, but also formal diversity in the institutional systems of kinship, religion, education, recreation, and economy (and sometimes, though not always, government).
In plural societies, people of different ethnic origins meet only in the market-place, where the various groups must trade and exchange goods and services with each other. No common ‘social will’ therefore develops to restrict the exploitation of the members of one group by members of another. In order to prevent market anarchy, some social framework has to be devised to govern inter-group transactions; in the case of Indonesia, the major attempted resolutions of the plural dilemma have included the imposition of a caste system, of the rule of a common law, a nationalist democracy, and federalism. A good account of the rise and (partial) demise of pluralism in that society is W. F. Wertheim's Indonesian Society in Transition (1956).
Later writers (including, for example, M. G. Smith , The Plural Society in the British West Indies, 1965)
extended Furnivall's usage to include the post-colonial and multi-racial societies of the Caribbean and South Africa–which were seen as being socially and culturally pluralist (if not strictly so in terms of the division of labour). The principal critics of the plural societies thesis have been Marxists, who have attempted to translate observed ethnic or cultural (‘ideological’) inequalities into underlying class conflicts, and to highlight relationships of dependency between developed and developing societies.
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