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What kind of society should the United States strive to become - Essay Example

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The United States should strive to maintain our diversity. The diversity is where we get our greatest strengths. In a shrinking world, the influence of multi-cultural and multi-ethnic values and ideas is an asset that should enhance our ability to cooperate and communicate with countries around the world…
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What kind of society should the United States strive to become
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Download file to see previous pages Though it presents us with a unique opportunity, it has the potential to work against us if we fail to create a social attitude to accept these differences. There is a fine line we must walk to maintain our cultural differences without labeling a group as being different. Being set too far apart from the larger society runs the risk of many minorities becoming increasingly separated by prejudice and discrimination. The challenge is to incorporate and preserve multi-value systems without the attitude that can develop in a dominant-minority relationship.

The multicultural approach views our value system as a diverse set of qualities that defines what it means to be an American. The term mulit-cultural implies that the definition is broad and sweeping, encompassing numerous attitudes and beliefs. The older national approach assumed there were a set of traditional American values at the core of our society. The two approaches are not mutually exclusive. Minority groups adopt the prevailing core values of the society in an effort to become more American. Immigrants may develop values based on our constitution or Ten Commandments without rejecting their own unique perspective and cultural heritage.

What is ethnocentrism Can you identify your own ethnocentric feelings Please provide a specific example.

Ethnocentrism is the belief that our own values and standards are the true and correct ones and cultural differences are viewed as unusual or inappropriate. Ethnocentrism deems our own judgments and values as morally superior than others, which we view as primitive or barbaric. It is a trait that gives us the sense that 'I am right, they are wrong'.
When I see an ethnic grocery store or market in a major American city, I am instantly repelled by the bizarre types of foods and what I perceive as unhealthy conditions. I may not even know what the foods are, but my knowledge that they are different is enough for me to develop the perception that they are inferior to my familiar cheeseburger and french fries. My ethnocentrism is making the judgment without regard to well-reasoned thought.

Week 2

Define pluralism and explain the ways in which it differs from assimilation. Why has interest in pluralism increased How have contemporary theorists added to the concept of pluralism

Pluralism is the process of maintaining distinct social groups that hold and preserve unique cultural differences and values. Assimilation is the process of becoming a member of another group through social contact. It assumes that when groups interact they will adopt mutual values and goals. Over time, the two groups will merge into one without noticeable differences. Pluralism recognizes that values and ethnic traditions are preserved within a group because they offer value to its members in the way of self-image and group power.
Interest in pluralism has increased because real assimilation does not seem to be a practical reality. Ethnic identification has become more pronounced as America becomes more diverse and groups cling to and celebrate their ethnic traditions. It is becoming more accepted that the assimilation predicted by Park and others will not come to pass in the foreseeable ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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