Cultural Pluralism Definition

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Race is a social construct that has only served to cause separation between groups of different backgrounds. Upon interaction between groups of people, there are many ways that groups would react given their differences. In his essay, Models of American Ethnic Relations: A Historical Perspective, author George M. Fredrickson labels 4 cultural interactions that have occurred when people of different ethnic backgrounds have interacted throughout American History: Ethnic Hierarchy, One-Way Assimilation, Cultural Pluralism, and Group Separation. Through Fredrickson’s outlining of each model, we are able to identify the benefits and disadvantages that each model possesses and the effect they have on cultural identity. The majority of United States …show more content…
The claim of Cultural Pluralism is that, “…cultural diversity is a healthy and normal condition that does not preclude equal rights and the mutual understandings about civic responsibilities needed to sustain a democratic nation-state.” (Fredrickson Para 18). This model closely resembles what the US is striving to be today. The US is home to people of many different cultures and ethnicities. These different groups coexist in one nation and by doing so they expose all people to a plethora of customs and beliefs. Each cultural identity is kept intact even through frequent interaction which garners open mindedness and acceptance of each other. The issue with this model is that given the diversity of cultures, true cultural pluralism is difficult to achieve. Especially when there are those that hold on to other models of cultural interaction. Author Erin Aubry Kaplan discusses this issue on his essay, Barack Obama: Miles Traveled, Miles To Go, where he references the higher expectations that President Obama has during his presidency due to his being a person of color. Kaplan also makes reference to the process of schools resegregating post Brown vs. Board of Education: “Brown precipitated a big shift, all right, but it was a shift away from the spirit of the ruling, not toward it. Whites fled public schools before desegregation had time to take root as a new reality; conditioned by years of black fear and loathing, they refused to submit to what they saw as a radical experiment, and so deserted their own places and even their own self-interest rather than allow the experiment any real margin of error.” (543). Cultural pluralism cannot be achieved if it is not given a platform to get

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