How integrated is the Federation?

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How integrated is the Federation?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-07-06 09:50am

The Federation is a multicultural body, comprised of over 150 member planets(and the thousands of minor colonies that are settled by said planets). How much do said planets mix? Is there a real integration of cultures, or is there a inherent segregation with the planets? Is it an evolving spectrum over time?

For instance, the very idea of humans and Vulcans mating is so scary to some people around the time of Enterprise that there's terrorist actions to stop it. A century later, Spock's status as a mixed child of human and Vulcan heritage, is considered a hot button issue around TOS, but by the TNG era, no one seems to bat an eye at Simon Tarses being part Vulcan, it's just when his heritage turns out to be part Romulan that they all get into a tizzy. Torres herself faced some discrimination from being half Klingon growing up.

We also see some ignorance about other Federation members. Vulcan mating practices are a huge secret, the Trill policy of symbiotes is considered a secret for some(Dr. Crusher), but is common knowledge to others(Sisko). Immigration also seems somewhat limited. We don't see a huge influx of aliens on Earth, aside from Starfleet members and the occasional politician. Colonies themselves seem to be largely human, with only a few aliens from other species joining. That said, DS9 shows how multicultural a place can be, with aliens from all over seeming to integrate well enough, while facing resistance from Bajor. At the same time, this is due to it being a large trade port next to the wormhole, attracting all sorts of people. With the crew seeming to know a lot more about each other's cultures than previous crews seemed to know.

What are your thoughts? What does this say about the Federation as a culture? What do you think?
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Re: How integrated is the Federation?

Post by Bob the Gunslinger » 2019-07-06 02:39pm

The post-Nemesis novels explore this theme a lot. The Titan is specifically designed to house as many types of non-humanoids as possible, and the Athene Donald is made up of scientists from many species and polities, even the Tzenkethi. In the Department of Temporal Investigations eshorts, we briefly see the Federation of the 31st century, which has a fluidity of existence similar to the Culture, as well as using standard Trek technology in the more "taken to their logical conclusions" ways popular among Internet fans.

As for canon sources, Risa and Rigel seem very cosmopolitan. Any time we see life on a starbase (and wherever young Picard got stabbed by Nausicans), we get a good mix of the bumpy forehead types. Other than that, I'm not sure how much of the Federation outside of Starfleet or Starfleet-adjacent bases we've seen.
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Re: How integrated is the Federation?

Post by Bob the Gunslinger » 2019-07-06 02:41pm

I'd also point out that there are several non-human species in the Federation who are identical to humans. We have no idea how well or poorly integrated they are because we can't spot them in the background.
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Re: How integrated is the Federation?

Post by Broomstick » 2019-07-06 03:13pm

I'd expect the native planet of a species to remain dominant in that species - for example, on Vulcan one would expect most people would be Vulcans. On Earth - even as the Federation capital - one would expect to encounter mostly Humans.

Some worlds that are colonies are going to be better suited for some species than others - for example, on very cold worlds I'd expect to see more Humans than Vulcans, and the reverse for very hot worlds. Unless the climate is so extreme everyone is living in domed cities/habitats/sealed arcologies in which case it might as well be a Starbase. And Starbases should be among the places having the most diverse populations because they're crossroads, just as trade hubs here on Earth are genuinely more diverse by any measure than rural areas. I'd expect large cities on worlds, whether homeworlds or colonies, would be more diverse than smaller towns and even less dense areas. There might be situations where one species "colonizes" part of a homeworld the native species finds inhospitable - I could see Vulcans setting up house in some of our more arid areas both because they like warm temperatures and their views on being a polite "guest" would probably lead them - logically, of course - to make use of land they find comfortable but the natives have little use for. Maybe the Andorians would have a settlement somewhere near the Earth's polar regions. And so on. Maybe Humans gravitate towards the polar regions of Vulcan?

In some cases biology is going to cause problems with assimilation - Tholian-friendly environments are incompatible with most, if not all, carbon-based life forms as just one example. Methane-breathers and oxygen breathers are going to have problems settling on atmospheric conditions. There could still be cordial relations between such different species but the result is not going to be what we'd consider full assimilation.

Q and Organians are not going to integrate with the Federation. If the Federation is lucky they'll be neutral towards the Federation.

That's not even getting into species differences - the most peaceful of Klingons will likely still be highly aggressive and temperamental by the standards of many other species, as an example. Some species will probably find Human gregariousness annoying. Vulcans will find everyone else to be too emotionally volatile. Those are generalizations, of course - you're going to have individual exceptions, like a Klingon opening a restaurant on a Bajoran space station, or a Ferengi joining Starfleet as an engineer, or a Vulcan marrying a Human, or a Human marrying a Betazoid. The folks most tolerant of others will be the ones joining organizations like Starfleet or living in the multi-species environments. That doesn't mean everyone in the sticks will be bigots, but the bigots aren't going to be comfortable in the multi-species places and will tend to self-select out.
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Re: How integrated is the Federation?

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-08 05:34am

Broomstick wrote:
2019-07-06 03:13pm
I'd expect the native planet of a species to remain dominant in that species - for example, on Vulcan one would expect most people would be Vulcans. On Earth - even as the Federation capital - one would expect to encounter mostly Humans.
I'm not sure casual passenger space travel is common enough yet in Trek to get a lot of really diverse multi-species worlds, outside of the elite (mainly Starfleet). There are some private ships, and there might be more we don't see because the shows/films mainly focus on the Starfleet perspective, but it does generally seem like travelling beyond worlds is a bit more complicated than buying a plane ticket.
Some worlds that are colonies are going to be better suited for some species than others - for example, on very cold worlds I'd expect to see more Humans than Vulcans, and the reverse for very hot worlds. Unless the climate is so extreme everyone is living in domed cities/habitats/sealed arcologies in which case it might as well be a Starbase. And Starbases should be among the places having the most diverse populations because they're crossroads, just as trade hubs here on Earth are genuinely more diverse by any measure than rural areas. I'd expect large cities on worlds, whether homeworlds or colonies, would be more diverse than smaller towns and even less dense areas. There might be situations where one species "colonizes" part of a homeworld the native species finds inhospitable - I could see Vulcans setting up house in some of our more arid areas both because they like warm temperatures and their views on being a polite "guest" would probably lead them - logically, of course - to make use of land they find comfortable but the natives have little use for. Maybe the Andorians would have a settlement somewhere near the Earth's polar regions. And so on. Maybe Humans gravitate towards the polar regions of Vulcan?
Agreed.

And we see that DS9 (a space station) is one of the most diverse environments on the show, with large numbers of local Bajorans living alongside (mostly human) Starfleet personnel, with a smattering of Cardassians, Ferengi, etc.
In some cases biology is going to cause problems with assimilation - Tholian-friendly environments are incompatible with most, if not all, carbon-based life forms as just one example. Methane-breathers and oxygen breathers are going to have problems settling on atmospheric conditions. There could still be cordial relations between such different species but the result is not going to be what we'd consider full assimilation.

Q and Organians are not going to integrate with the Federation. If the Federation is lucky they'll be neutral towards the Federation.

That's not even getting into species differences - the most peaceful of Klingons will likely still be highly aggressive and temperamental by the standards of many other species, as an example. Some species will probably find Human gregariousness annoying. Vulcans will find everyone else to be too emotionally volatile. Those are generalizations, of course - you're going to have individual exceptions, like a Klingon opening a restaurant on a Bajoran space station, or a Ferengi joining Starfleet as an engineer, or a Vulcan marrying a Human, or a Human marrying a Betazoid. The folks most tolerant of others will be the ones joining organizations like Starfleet or living in the multi-species environments. That doesn't mean everyone in the sticks will be bigots, but the bigots aren't going to be comfortable in the multi-species places and will tend to self-select out.
Probably, yes.

There does also seem to be greater species diversity over time, at least in Starfleet, as noted in the OP. For example, look at the bridge crew/senior officer compositions over the course of the Prime timeline:

Enterprise: 1 Vulcan, 1 whatever Flox was, 5 humans.

TOS: 1 Vulcan/human hybrid, 5 humans.

TNG: 1 Klingon, 1 Betazed, 1 Android, 4 humans.

DS9: 1 Bajoran, 1 Klingon, 1 Trill, 1 genetically-enhanced human, 1 Changeling, 2 humans.

Not counting Voyager, because it was very clearly an atypical situation, where the crew was not a standard Starfleet crew, but the survivors of Caretaker plus Marquis allies and whoever Janeway could pick up along the way.
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Re: How integrated is the Federation?

Post by Lord Revan » 2019-07-08 09:53am

Phlox was a denobulan. Also DSC has only 1 alien main character 1.5 if you count Burnham being raised on Vulcan for a large portion of her life and yes it's prime timeline (I'm counting terrans as humans and Tyler as human as well as his true identity was mystery most of season 1 and he's still mostly human biologically speaking IIRC).


As for Beverly Crusher assuming they didn't simply retcon trill with DS9 Crusher was orginally from a remote, insular and rather conservative planet so it's possible she really didn't know that much about any species besides her own before heading to medschool and after that it's possible she simply didn't come across that factoid about the trill, also Sisko was friends with Curzon Dax so it might be that he learn about the symbiot during that time.
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Re: How integrated is the Federation?

Post by Solauren » 2019-07-08 11:09am

I've always assumed that most members of a species stay on their home planet, as that is the most comfortable for them.

The ones that travel are the adventerous ones, or the ones looking for a fresh/new start.
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Re: How integrated is the Federation?

Post by Gandalf » 2019-07-08 09:31pm

Given that Starfleet ships are seemingly set to "Earth," it seems as though integration is inherently limited to those who can survive in California.

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Re: How integrated is the Federation?

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-07-08 11:40pm

Gandalf wrote:
2019-07-08 09:31pm
Given that Starfleet ships are seemingly set to "Earth," it seems as though integration is inherently limited to those who can survive in California.

"We do believe all planets have a sovereign claim to inalienable human rights."
"Inalien... If only you could hear yourselves. 'Human rights.' Why the very name is racist. The Federation is no more than a 'homo sapiens' only club."
The Benzites do seem to have to adapt to the majority crews of those they're with, not everyone else adapting to the sole Benzite crewmember on board.
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Re: How integrated is the Federation?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-07-09 08:59am

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-07-08 11:40pm
Gandalf wrote:
2019-07-08 09:31pm
Given that Starfleet ships are seemingly set to "Earth," it seems as though integration is inherently limited to those who can survive in California.

"We do believe all planets have a sovereign claim to inalienable human rights."
"Inalien... If only you could hear yourselves. 'Human rights.' Why the very name is racist. The Federation is no more than a 'homo sapiens' only club."
The Benzites do seem to have to adapt to the majority crews of those they're with, not everyone else adapting to the sole Benzite crewmember on board.
I mean, I would expect that to be the norm on most ships? Shared areas are going to be set to a comfortable average for the predominant species aboard. Individual quarters can be set to personal preferences. It just happens that for whatever reason Starfleet itself seems to be majority human...
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Re: How integrated is the Federation?

Post by Lord Revan » 2019-07-09 11:56am

Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-07-09 08:59am
FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-07-08 11:40pm
Gandalf wrote:
2019-07-08 09:31pm
Given that Starfleet ships are seemingly set to "Earth," it seems as though integration is inherently limited to those who can survive in California.

"We do believe all planets have a sovereign claim to inalienable human rights."
"Inalien... If only you could hear yourselves. 'Human rights.' Why the very name is racist. The Federation is no more than a 'homo sapiens' only club."
The Benzites do seem to have to adapt to the majority crews of those they're with, not everyone else adapting to the sole Benzite crewmember on board.
I mean, I would expect that to be the norm on most ships? Shared areas are going to be set to a comfortable average for the predominant species aboard. Individual quarters can be set to personal preferences. It just happens that for whatever reason Starfleet itself seems to be majority human...
Starfleet is probably majority human because of 2 reasons, first humans (or aliens that look close enough to humans to impossible to tell apart at glance) make up a majority of Federation members and second Federation Starfleet itself seems to be a decendant of the United Earth organization of the same name and thus would have had a human majority since creation.

That said I suspect that ship setting would made according to the predominant species within the crew not starfleet in general, so a ship with a predominantly vulcan crew (of which we know at least 2 examples) would enviroment settings closer to what is comfortble to vulcans with possibly some accodominations made for non-vulcan crewmembers.
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Re: How integrated is the Federation?

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-07-09 05:01pm

Lord Revan wrote:
2019-07-09 11:56am
That said I suspect that ship setting would made according to the predominant species within the crew not starfleet in general, so a ship with a predominantly vulcan crew (of which we know at least 2 examples) would enviroment settings closer to what is comfortble to vulcans with possibly some accodominations made for non-vulcan crewmembers.
That’s basically what I’m saying, yes.
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Re: How integrated is the Federation?

Post by Lord Revan » 2019-07-09 07:20pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-07-09 05:01pm
Lord Revan wrote:
2019-07-09 11:56am
That said I suspect that ship setting would made according to the predominant species within the crew not starfleet in general, so a ship with a predominantly vulcan crew (of which we know at least 2 examples) would enviroment settings closer to what is comfortble to vulcans with possibly some accodominations made for non-vulcan crewmembers.
That’s basically what I’m saying, yes.
Essentially yes, though that part is mostly for the who insist UFP is utterly and gleefully evil and therefore would set their shipboard enviroment permalocked to settings that most humans would find uncomfortble let alone aliens. Honestly I think "human standard" would be around 20 degrees celsius with moderate humidity, with adjustments made if there was signifigant amount of non-humans who would be native of hotter or colder climates.

That said we've seen both vulcans and andorians in "human standard" enviroment and they could function just fine and humans in "vulcan standard" in ENT (not mention humans living in Vulcan) so the preferred climates of those species can't be that far from "human standard" as neither vulcans weren't suffering from hypothermia or andorians from overheating in "human standard" enviroment settings and this was on the NX-01 so it predates the federation itself.

EDIT:I'm not saying that vulcans or andorians would prefer "human standard" if given the choice but it would be something they could get used to if they had to and it certainly wouldn't be life threating.
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