Cultural Diversity in the United States

Cultural Diversity in the United States

Cultural Diversity in the United States

Cultural Diversity in the United States

Synopsis

This collection of readings provides the reader with a basic introduction to the topic and concepts of cultural diversity as it has come to characterize the culture of the United States. Particular attention is given to the practice of racial, ethnic, and special interest group characterizations. No other book is as complete in its coverage of the diverse cultural groupings that make up the American culture. This unique work serves as a first step in beginning the quest for greater understanding and appreciation of diversity.

Excerpt

This collection of readings addresses culture and cultural diversity, topics that generate some of the most significant social issues in the world today, and issues that promise to carry well into the next century. Out of the general lack of understanding of culture and its role in people's lives, when most Americans think of cultural diversity, images of broad-based "racial" groups (black and brown, maybe yellow), or various "ethnic" groups (Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, etc.), immediately come to mind, and this is the diversity of the United States. For many of them, a "race" is a natural grouping of people based on some shared physical characterisitics, more often than not, color. "Ethnic" groups come into existence by virtue of people sharing as little as a common language or perhaps having the same regional origins. But, "racial" and "ethnic" groupings such as these are nothing more than gross, arbitrary, and artificial categorizations of people with little or no meaningful basis in reality, and certainly no relationship to culture. The tendency of Americans to rely on such overgeneralized categorizations tends to obscure more than it clarifies. While such groupings (categorizations) are well established and commonly used when addressing the topic of diversity, they by no means convey the actual number of cultural groups that come together and make up what is commonly known as the "American Culture." The real diversity of America is represented in the many different groupings established on the basis of shared culture, on "ethnicity," and a whole host of "special interests" that have come with the complex and fragmented modern nation-state.

The idea for this volume was born out of a need for a basic introduction for students only beginning their sojourn into the diversity of cultural groupings that make up the whole of the culture of the United States (American Culture). Up to now, to undertake a broad study of diversity, one would have to go to a large number of different resource materials to gain even the most basic exposure to the diversity of America, and most of this would focus on only specific "ethnic" or "racial" groupings. This volume brings the most basic information on culture and . . .

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