Pluralism In Usa

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Pluralism in the USA

Pluralism in the USA

Introduction and Book Review

A loose and wide chronological framework has been chosen by the authors, to organize the book. There are various overlapping themes in the book. Every section in the book has adequately dealt with the role of economic and social forces at work in determining ethnic experiences. The book examines whether these factors are responsible for drawing black migrants to the factories of North and pushing Indians into the federal reservations. Strangely, around the mid of twentieth century, the tone of the book appears to change. While a major part of the book narrates details about the discrimination and hardships faced by ethnic minorities before 1950, the narrative that follows after that date shifts emphasis to how barriers to recognition should be overcome by ethnic groups via taking up opportunities open to them. A lack of sync is noticeable between the final three chapters with their upbeat tone and the major part of the book with its relentless narrative of suffering and misery. The ethnic balkanization of the United States which was followed by the failures of the civil rights movement of 1960s is acknowledged. However, the authors have made an attempt of highlighting the 'positive side' to it by suggesting that this development represents a step towards a more pluralistic and equal society. The last chapter of this book -which is also the only new one added in this edition- comprises of a list of various new immigrant groups. It is a record of the achievements and experiences of these new immigrant groups. The missing history of United States from the later sections of the book indicates the issues experienced by the modern American society. Despite of the last sections of the book making frequent references to the 11th September 2001 events, however they are vague and ambiguous.

What is Pluralism?

The demographics of today's world are changing at a rapid pace. First world countries are now facing an influx of immigrant looking for a better livelihood for them and their families. This has resulted in creating a society that is a blend of various ethnic groups. In the United States, there exist a vast number of citizens that belong to Asian, Latin, German or African ethnic backgrounds. This is also leads to the need for having a pluralist society. Pluralism can also be defined as diversity. It must be understood that pluralism is not simply diversity. It is the involvement of the society with diverse ethnic groups. Pluralism also nurtures tolerance but tolerance alone cannot be enough in a pluralist society. Tolerance should not only focus on the religious aspect of the diverse groups of the society. A pluralist society cannot stand only on the principle of tolerance. It is necessary to have an understanding of the groups residing in the society. Religious plurality does not mean we should lose our basic identities. Pluralism should look to reduce stereotypes and half-truths people may have of the ...
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