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Multiculturalism In America - Essay Example

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Summary
Key arguments regarding the problems of multiculturalism in America.
Multiculturalism can be referred as the framework that advocates for the recognition of the cultural differences and tolerance to such cultural identities within the society…
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Multiculturalism In America
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Multiculturalism In America

Download file to see previous pages... Multiculturalism is not merely about the demographic composition of the American population, but how political systems frame the cultural diversity especially in participation in national matters (Alonso 24). The United States has witnessed high influx of immigrants from all parts of the world. Multiculturalism is closely related with identity politics, but requires the different religions, ethnic diversity and cultural diversities to be accommodated in the national issues such as representation. Government multiculturalism policies that promote multiculturalism include the federal support of newspapers and television that broadcast in the minority languages, support for minority festivals, encouragement of minority representation in education and politics (Donovan 99). Other public policies that encourage multiculturalism include acceptance of traditional dress codes in schools (Alonso 68). Multiculturalism is problematic since it reinforces the oppression of minorities in the society. Critics of multiculturalism argue that it leads to segregated communities. This is because cultural differences such as traditions, values and shared beliefs are recognized in the nation-level thus denying opportunities for social cohesion (Alonso 63). Although protection of the minorities in the society will reduce the inequalities, racial or cultural based protections of the minorities will exacerbate the inequalities since powerful members of a particular minority group will undermine the opportunities and liberties of the vulnerable members of the particular group (Donovan 123). Feminists argue that multiculturalism will lead to entrenchment of the cultural practices that deny women equality and undermine the protection of women rights in the society. Accordingly, cultural practices like customary law on polygamy and religious laws will undermine the dominant legal system thus perpetrating the inequality of women in the society (Alonso 128). The duty of the government is to safeguard the individual rights, but not group rights. Granting cultural groups specific rights and protections undermines the individual rights to liberty and right of association in the society (Donovan 45). Accordingly, the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution is framed on the ideals of liberty, respect for universal human rights and right to pursue happiness. In addition, American ethos is based on individualism, equality in opportunities and egalitarianism thus all different cultures must internalize in order to ensure societal stability. In this regard, government policies that promote multiculturalism will create social instability and distinct cultural ideas other than those that have governed Americans since independence (Alonso 234). Multiculturalism undermines the struggles for justice and redistribution in the US. The politics of cultural recognition seeks to remedy the status inequality, but redistribution challenges the inequality in distribution of resources and seeks economic restructuring in order to attain economic justice. For instance, Jim Crow laws of the southern states perpetuated political disenfranchisement thus providing opportunities for economic isolation of the Black Americans (Donovan 110). Multiculturalism entrenches cultural distinction thus leading to power differentials that hinder economic justice to the traditionally isolated minority groups like Black Americans (Alonso 178). Critics of multiculturalism argue that cultures should not be preserved since they are influenced by immigration, imperialism and international trade. Advancement in technology, influence of the mass media ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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