Pragmatism in the Americas

By Gregory Fernando Pappas | Go to book overview

FOURTEEN
PRAGMATISM, LATINO INTERCULTURAL
CITIZENSHIP, AND THE TRANSFORMATION
OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

José-Antonio Orosco

In his recent study of the interconnections between globalization and violence, Fear of Small Numbers, Arjun Appadurai draws a distinction between the civic and the political patriotism expressed by many immigrants living within the United States. Especially for those immigrants coming from the Global South, there is a sense of “surviving in a moral cocoon within the belly of the beast” when it comes to describing life in America.1 These immigrants, both legal and undocumented, treasure the idea of taking advantage of the freedoms and liberties that come with citizenship. Nonetheless, they feel contempt for the “American way of life” that they associate with crime, sexual immorality, political corruption, and racism against nonwhite people. They have patriotism for the political ideals of the United States, but are disgusted by its civic life, its popular culture, and the moral hypocrisy of its citizens. They love America, but don’t care much for Americans. Such conditions are ripe for frustration and political violence, according to Appadurai.

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