Explore BrainMass


Has America succeeded or failed in introducing multiculralism? Are you satisfied? What remains to be done?

Solution Preview

Has America succeeded or failed in introducing multiculralism? Are you satisfied? What remains to be done?
The view that the various cultures in a society merit equal respect and scholarly interest. It became a significant force in American society in the 1970s and 1980s as African-Americans, Latinos, and other ethnic groups explored their own history.
The United States is a multicultural country because it contains people from many different cultures around the world. All of these cultures contribute to the overall American way of life, giving us a diverse range of foods, religions, businesses and ideas in one nation
America has only partly succeeded in introducing multiculturism. Multiculturism is commonly used in the USA either as a factually descriptive term - American society is undeniably multicultural - or as a reference to particular policies such as the introduction of quotas in areas like universities and the labour market ('affirmative action') or the hotly contested area of curriculum reform, with the replacement of works by DWEMs (Dead White USAan Males), such as Shakespeare, by a literary curriculum which is thought to reflect more closely the ethnic and cultural composition of the USA.
This American debate about ethnicity and racism closely parallels that about gender and sexism. Let us take the example of curriculum reform. It is reasonable to argue that the curriculum should show a concern with literary merit. It is also reasonable to feature works which represent to the greatest extent possible the lived experience of the many strands of American life - men and women, Black, White, Asian, Hispanic. We would not think these days in Ireland of studying only the works of major English writers in English while omitting Irish ones, or men only while omitting women. This did not stop Bord Fà?¡ilte producing a poster some years ago of 'famous Irish writers', all of whom were male, although I am informed, and this rather undermines my own case, that eight of the twelve were Protestants. It is reasonable, too, to argue that reading Edna O'Brien tells us something about the universality of the human condition, which should be valid whether it is read by a woman or a man, in Tuamgraney or in Timbuctoo. But it also seems reasonable to say that people will respond to work which has a special resonance for them because of the specificity of place, people and subject matter. Hence the demands in the USA to reform the curriculum to include rather more writers of mixed ethnic, racial and gender backgrounds.
However, the debate about political correctness and multiculturalism in the USA produced a fierce ideological battle and the dust has not settled yet. Influential authors such as Allan Bloom in The Closing of the American ...