Coping with Cultural and Racial Diversity in Urban America

Coping with Cultural and Racial Diversity in Urban America

Coping with Cultural and Racial Diversity in Urban America

Coping with Cultural and Racial Diversity in Urban America

Synopsis

One of the most distinctive features of the "American persona" is "a preoccupation and underlying concern in the United States with what is or is not American.'" How far can an ethnic group in the United States go to maintain its identity before it trespasses into what is perceived as un-American terrain? This is the underlying theme of Lambert and Taylor's community based investigation which studies the attitudes of Americans toward ethnic diversity and intergroup relations. This study deals with the peculiar U.S. dichotomy of cultural diversity and assimilation.

Excerpt

The "American persona" has been recently described in terms of three national preoccupations, namely, concerns about war and peace, about bread and butter, and about black and white. Interesting as this overview is, we feel it misses what may be the most distinctive feature of all: a preoccupation and underlying concern in the United States with what is or is not "American." The research described in this monograph deals indirectly with this deeply rooted American concern. However, the label "American" is really an imprecise misnomer. Mexicans and Canadians are also Americans in the technical sense. We will use the term nonetheless because, for residents of the United States, being "American" or "an American" is the popular and common label.

The research to be described is a community based investigation of the attitudes of Americans--some mainstream, long-term residents and others who are first or second generation immigrants--towards ethnic diversity and intergroup relations. An underlying theme to the research is: How far can an ethnic group in the United States go in maintaining its identity before that group trespasses into . . .

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