Pluralism - equally legitimate • As of 2000 about one of...

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Pluralism (A + B + C = A + B + C) Pluralism is the situation where various groups in a society have mutual respect for one another’s culture--a respect that allows minorities to express their own cultural without suffering prejudice or hostility. Whereas the assimilationist seeks the elimination of ethnic boundaries, the pluralist believes in maintaining many of them. • In the United States, cultural pluralism is more an ideal than a reality. Although there are vestiges of cultural pluralism (e.g., in the various ethnic neighborhoods in major cities), the rule has been for subordinate groups to assimilate. The cost of cultural integrity has been high. The various Native American tribes have succeeded to a large extent in maintaining their heritage, but the price has been bare subsistence on federal reservations. • The most visible controversy about pluralism is the debate surrounding bilingualism —the use of two or more languages in places of work or education, with each language being treated as
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Unformatted text preview: equally legitimate. • As of 2000, about one of every six people (17 percent) speak a native language other than English at home. In California, this proportion is more than 40 percent. Consequently, all segments of society are affected. The California state judicial system officially provides court interpreters in 100 different languages. In education, bilingualism has seemed to be one way of helping millions of people who want to learn English to function more efficiently within the United States. • A proposed Constitutional amendment has been introduced that designates English as the “official language of the nation.” Proponents of restricting bilingualism view the English language as the “social glue” that keeps the nation together. By contrast, Hispanic leaders see this movement as a veiled expression of racism....
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