As an American it is very important to understand the different concepts of assimilation and multiculturalism. It is these terms that differ one person from everybody else in some kind of way. Multiculturalism is a term that is just what it sounds like. It is including several cultures. According to the American Heritage dictionary, multiculturalism is " a social or educational theory or program that encourages interest in many cultures within a society rather than in only one mainstream culture. " Assimilation is the exact opposite of what multiculturalism is. Assimilation is described to be where " a minority group gradually adopts the customs and attitudes of the prevailing culture. "
So how does one decide whether to believe in assimilation or multiculturalism? Well the truth to that question is that there really is no direct correct belief. It all depends on the person. On how their past was like, who their parents are and where they came from. Some of the greater issues that come up when talking about assimilation versus multiculturalism are language, literacy, power, and difference in American culture. Amy Tan's reading titled " Mother Tongue ", Thomas Bray's " Memorial Day and multiculturalism ", and Maxine Hairston's " College Writing " readings are amongst one of the most appropriate in addressing the issues of multiculturalism and assimilation. One of the greatest differences in American culture right now is language. This is because people come from all sorts of different countries into America and only know how to speak their own native language. Many people come over to America to work here...
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...most people in American have come together to form a part of assimilation; however not to it's fullest. Although people are proud to keep their American culture and initiate with it as much as possible, I feel that people must not forget their own personal heritage from where they were born. The Idea of assimilation for me is just as important as multiculturalism. I will be just as proud to learn and follow in the English language, as I will be to remember all that I have been taught about my Russian culture.
Bray Thomas. " Memorial Day and Multiculturalism, " Detroit News 24 May 1998
Tan Amy. " Mother Tongue. " Border text: cultural reading for contemporary writers Ed. Randal Bass. Boston: Houghton- Mifflin, 1999
Hairston Maxine. " College Writing ." College Composition and Communication 43.2. University of Texas, 1992
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