Strategies of Transformation toward a Multicultural Society: Fulfilling the Story of Democracy

Strategies of Transformation toward a Multicultural Society: Fulfilling the Story of Democracy

Strategies of Transformation toward a Multicultural Society: Fulfilling the Story of Democracy

Strategies of Transformation toward a Multicultural Society: Fulfilling the Story of Democracy

Synopsis

How can the culturally diverse communities of America live justly and fruitfully together? Not by assimilation into the dominant culture -- nor by fighting for the freedom to pursue our own self-interest at the cost of our repressing both the wounds and the promising potential of our own cultural roots. This book offers a theory and practice of transformation that shows, especially through literature, education, and politics, how we can create a multicultural society that liberates our being as a fulfillment of the story of democracy. Perhaps for the first time in American history we are seeing the personal, political, historical, and sacred faces of women, people of color, and all ethnic groups as they tell their stories. It is this emerging scholarship that constitutes the new multicultural and feminine face of the story of democracy.

Excerpt

The emergence of multicultural diversity as a concrete face of the archetypal story of democracy in our time provides us with a challenge, perhaps for the first time as Americans, to discover our actual past. We now have the opportunity to ask what in our past is fruitful and what is destructive. But before we can ask what in our heritage is creative and what is harmful, we need to know what stories and ways of life currently constitute our society and be prepared to empty ourselves of these partial and truncated dramas and ways of life so that we can create new and more compassionate stories in the service of transformation. Thus this new multicultural aspect of democracy is not about how and why different groups and cultures should be proud of their past. A multicultural society is one that is ready to discover what it is that we need to nourish and what to let go. Above all, we have to be prepared to critique all cultures in our society because all of them are in bad shape. For example, the Latino and African American cultures suffer from a highly destructive machismo that feeds a sexism and patriarchy that is devastating to the women in those communities. The dominant society is caught by the story of capitalism, which is often in collusion with racism to preserve the power of the privileged. We are all in trouble when it comes to facing the inherited stories and ways of life of our cultural past.

For most of our history as a nation, we have not recognized and continue not to recognize each other as full human beings. Recently, during a seminar . . .

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