Ask any American how they feel about multiculturalism you are likely to get one of two responses: either a cringe or a smile. Those that cringe will say something along the line of “Multiculturalism is the wrong way to look at things. It separates us by saying that everyone is different instead of saying that we are the same and unifying us.” Those that smile will talk about how great multiculturalism is because they get to see aspects of all different cultures on television and on the radio and they are free to explore all the different things that various cultures have to offer. In actuality, one cannot help but wonder if either of these responses reflects the true meaning of multiculturalism? What do these responses and others like them say about America’s attitude towards multiculturalism?
Multiculturalism is one of those popular culture buzzwords that the American masses abuse and miss-use. It has been internalized as an integral part of today’s political correctness and American culture. Without the cultural diversity that brought about this term, America would lack one of its defining social characteristics, drastically altering what it means to be American. Multiculturalism is clearly a cornerstone of modern American identity, but it is frequently confused with diversity and wrongly associated with reverse racism. The average American believes that multiculturalism is a fancy word for racial diversity and that by integrating racially diverse imagery into pop culture America has morphed into a society of multiculturalists.
Unfortunately, the advertising industry and intellectual print journalism reflect these attitudes. Print advertisements often reinforce ethnic stereotyping, use pr...
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Kellner, Douglass. “Cultural Studies, Multiculturalism, and Media Culture.” Dine 9-20
Schwartz, Peter. “The Racism of ‘Diveristy’”. Web February 18, 2015 http://www.anyrand.org/medaalink/diversityracism.shtml
Schwartz, Benjamin. “The Diversity Myth”. Atlantic Monthly May 1995: 57-67
Tatum, Beverly Daniel, Ph.D.. Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? And other conversations about race. New York: Basic Books, 1997.
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