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Melting Pot versus Cultural Mosaic - Essay Example

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The essay "Melting Pot versus Cultural Mosaic” gives an estimate to the advantages and disadvantages of these theories of acculturation. The first suggests Americans as the dominant nation, while the second allows you to join the American nation, without sacrificing your national identity. 
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Melting Pot versus Cultural Mosaic
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Download file to see previous pages Those who adhere to a melting pot theory tend to be more traditional and/or conservative in nature. They see “America” as a white, English-speaking country in which minorities need to arrive and assimilate in a few years as possible. The multiculturalists tend to be left-leaning and seek to enable immigrants to maintain their own cultures while attempting to become American.
The advantage of the melting pot theory is that it reflects what has largely happened to most immigrant groups in America. Thus the Italians, the Irish, the Eastern Europeans, and the Asians arrived at various times in American history and tended to adapt to the culture quickly. They learned English quickly and took on many of the characteristics of what it meant to “be American” at the specific time that they arrived. The melting pot is what actually happened. One of the disadvantages of the melting pot theory is that it reflects the situation in the past rather than the present. The same principles do not necessarily apply within the 21st Century that did in the 20th and 19th.  Also, the melting pot may be regarded as obliquely racist, requiring all immigrants to take on the characteristics of the dominant white European society.
The advantage of the multicultural theory is that it allows for immigrants to maintain as much of their original identity as possible while becoming American. This enables the group to be stronger. One of the disadvantages of this theory is that there are virtually no examples of it having successfully occurred anywhere in the world in general, or within America in particular. A truly multicultural society would be perhaps hopelessly complicated. Unless the USA become like Switzerland, with many people speaking two or three languages it seems necessary for there to be one common language in order for the country to be successful. For a country to have a national identity its citizens need to be able to talk to one another. If they cannot, or if they maintain too much of a separate identity based upon their origins then the country may eventually split apart. This does not only happen in poor, chaotically run Third World countries: it is also happening in Canada with Quebec wanting to break away and become independent, largely because its people speak French and the rest of Canada speaks English. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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