A plural society contains diverse cultural and ethnic elements, which may lead to conflict. Most countries are faced with such societies. This may arise from an arbitrary definition of the national boundaries to include two or more ethnic groups, or as a result of colonization or of immigration. Adverse effects are aggravated by discrimination, segregation, exploitation, racism, elitism and a lack of appreciation of cultural differences, leading to disparities and lack of integration. Although assimilation is one answer to the adverse effects of a plural society, it also sows the seeds of discontent. A successful balance in the integration of national and ethnic characteristics has yet to be found.