Psychology

Topics: Multiculturalism, Culture, Pluralism Pages: 9 (2151 words) Published: September 3, 2013
Language is the medium of culture on which their daily lives and identities are

based. To define what language can be spoken is to define the identity not only of the

individual, but also of the country. You will probably be surprise to hear that English is

not the official language of the United States. I was surprised. In my country Ukraine

when I was born and grew up official language is Ukrainian, but sixty five percentages

of the former Soviet republic is a native Russian language speaker. There are many

countries in which minority populations speak languages other than the dominant one,

such as Spain, Italy, and France. There have been serious conflicts between members

of the different linguistic populations in these countries. When natives of a country

cannot respect the values of another culture it leads problems with immigrants. The

United States protects individual freedom of immigrants and minority groups to develop

and use its national language within reasonable limits, supports equality of opportunity

to learn and improve new languages by providing a public policy and individual

assimilation approach for managing cultural diversity.

In the article titled “Multiculturalism and the common center”, author Diane Ravitch

indicates , “As a result of the political and social changes of recent decades, cultural

pluralism is now generally recognized as an organizing principle of this society. In

contrast to the idea of the melting pot, which promised to erase ethnic and group

differences, children now learn that variety is the spice of life...” She discusses about

the ultimate tendency of the "diversity" movement in American schools and describes

that both the melting pot, and cultural mosaic as being multicultural and refers to them

as pluralistic and particularistic multiculturalism. Another author, Anna Quindlen points

multiculturalism as preserving a "cultural mosaic" of separate ethnic groups, and is

contrasted to a "melting pot" that mixes them. This idea has also been described as the

"salad bowl" model. Both author, Ravitch and Quindlen , disagree as to the extent to

which model has occurred in the United States, but they aim the idea to challenge the

problem of the formation of national identity through the prism of cultural pluralism. It is

easy to understand this idea, if we point the differences between the USA

immigrants and minority groups, in a fact of relation to multiculturalism. First,

immigrants are people who arrive under an immigration policy which gives them the

right to become citizens. They accept the native culture and adapt to the society. They

learn English if they arrived not knowing the language. Millions of immigrants now

living have learned English or are learning it in order to participate in the US culture. In

1987, the coalition established the English Plus language information

Clearinghouse(EPIC). English Plus is based on the belief that all U.S. residents should

have the opportunity to become proficient in English one or more other languages.

With one shared language people learn to respect other people, other cultures, with

sympathy and understanding. Next, national minorities are groups that have in common

some or all of history, community, territory, language, or culture. National minorities

resist integration and fight to maintain their own social culture. For example, American

Jews are one group who have traditionally retained a strong identity within the larger

culture. There are racial neighborhoods such as oriental Chinatown in San Francisco

and black Harlem in New York. The most important “thorn” of a national minority aspect

is that, in the United States heritage languages often do not survive well from one

generation to the next as the shift to English takes place. Demographers note...
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