Multicultural Literature Analysis

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When you see a class labelled “Multicultural Literature”, the first assumption is that the course is going to focus on literature that comes from multiple different cultures. While this is indeed what we read, dealing with multiculturalism in a classroom environment let us learn a lot about ourselves and our society rather than just about the books themselves. At the beginning of this class, we were asked to define culture as a way to see if we fully understood what it was we would be learning about. After reading Edelstein’s essay “Multiculturalisms Past, Present, and Future”, it was obvious that while we as a class had a general assumption of what multiculturalism meant, we had much to learn. The discussion that we had about the definition …show more content…
While this is a rational concern, it is important to remember that these courses are being attended by many students who have their own different experiences and cultures. At the beginning of our class, the first instance of multiple points of view coming together was when we were asked to define multiculturalism and culture. The different definitions that all of the students were able to contribute showed the diverseness of the class itself. At the very beginning of Edelstein’s essay, which we used for the definitions assignment, she reminds us of this diversity by stating, “Most universities ' student bodies have become much more diverse- culturally, ethnically, linguistically, experientially, socioeconomically” (Edelstein 14). This assignment also allowed us to learn more about multiculturalism specifically in the classroom. Edelstein states clearly within her essay all of the noteworthy concerns that critics of multicultural literature have. She tells the reader about the importance of being aware of and challenging the most common mistakes within a multicultural literature course: how not to homogenize multiple cultures, how to see commonalities between cultures, and teaching about many differences including but going farther than racial differences being only a few of the challenges …show more content…
This chapter showed us how important it was to think critically about the way we define and talk about people. Ore’s main argument is that “the categories that we use to describe ourselves and those around us are the product of social rather than biological factors” (Ore 1). She goes on to explain how to avoid stereotypically categorizing people. It is important to be aware of the way you think and to think critically in order to avoid making mistakes (2-3). With the addition of these essays right at the beginning of the course, the students were able to keep all of these concerns in the back of their minds throughout the course. Making the students aware of the potential problems of taking this course is the best way to insure that the students avoid making the mistake of oversimplifying cultures or applying one person’s experiences to

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