Compare multiculturalism according to the views of Arthur Schlessinger in 'The Cult Of Ethnicity' and Anthony Appiah in 'The Multicultural Mistake'

Essay by JijiCollege, UndergraduateA-, April 2007

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The topic of cultural diversity in the United States has taken up the interest of a lot of authors, and there have been a lot of articles written on that topic. In the comparison of Arthur Schlessinger's views in 'The Cult Of Ethnicity' and Anthony Appiah's views in 'The Multicultural Mistake', we can list several points.

Anthony Appiah believes that "culture is not the problem, and it is not the solution". He believes that the cultural diversity in the United States deserves a lot of care and attention. According to Appiah, most foreigners who came to the US have let go of their original roots, and have become simply 'white', like the Italians or the Jews. But still, blacks think of their culture in racial terms. Here, we can see a reflection of Anthony Appiah's background and culture as a black himself. He claims that some groups want to be recognized for their differences now before it's too late; before they lose their original individual identities, and simply melt into the American society.

In 'The Multicultural Mistake', Appiah introduces the phrase "diverse social identities" to describe the cultural diversity in the United States, and he seems somewhat unhappy and dissatisfied with the turns that this diversity is taking.

'The Cult Of Ethnicity' by Arthur Schlessinger also portrays the united States as a country that mixes all kinds of different people in one society, by creating a "brand new national identity". Like Appiah, Schlessinger believes that this multiculturalism requires a lot of attention, so that it doesn't turn ugly later on…He mentions the positive aspects of diversity of cultures in his article. Apparently, this mixing and mingling has got the Americans to recognize the achievements of minority groups that were otherwise neglected, and to gain knowledge of what's...