Boyagoda (2008) and Aoki (2001) extensively elaborate issues on pluralism with special attention to United States. Pluralism is the diversified energetic engagement. It integrates diversity and real encounter as a way of reducing tensions in the society. It can also refer to the effort of people to understand each other regardless of their differential lines. People must know the whole truth about each other and forget about stereotypes and ignorance that usually leads to fears and violence at its extreme stage. Pluralism is the successful involvement in commitments but not just mere relativism.
People’s differences should be held whenever they relate with each other. Pluralism must involve dialogue where people encounter in criticisms and self-criticisms. Pluralism therefore denotes diversified views depending on the topic of discussion as explained below. Scientific pluralism denies the existence of unified method of science but advocates for multiple expiations for phenomena. Philosophical plurality denotes the existence of uniquely different metaphysical and epistemological positions. Pluralism of political theory acknowledges that in any society, political power lies among groups of people within it but not the electorate.
On the other hand, plurality of political philosophy holds that every society comprises of political systems that are diverse in nature. Economic pluralism acknowledges the existence of diverse economic methods. Under religious pluralism, all religious practices are equally valid and important to those who hold them. Legal plurality involves acknowledgement of different legal systems around the globe. Cultural pluralism holds that in every large society some small groups of people tend to maintain their cultural identities. Methodological pluralism holds that nature of phenomena should be observed using multiple methods of science.
Value pluralism acknowledges the existence of conflicting but fundamentally equal values. Cosmic pluralism holds that there is a possibility of existence of many different worlds besides the earth, which can support life. According to Boyagoda (2008), social class is the societal stratification based on economic and political positions they hold in their respective societies. Those within higher social classes have power to control those below them. Social distance on the other hand refers to the disparity between groups of people within society, which may be based on social class, ethnicity, tribe or even sexuality.
Gender refers to socially constructed qualities that define femininity or masculinity. Though different from sex, it was associated with the individual’s sex. Further more, Boyagoda (2008), explains that the American dream visualizes a land where people live better life, where they have equal opportunities depending on their ability. In this land, social order will prevail with people getting a chance to maximize their stature according to their capability, while receiving recognition by the others regardless their race, gender or any other form of discrimination.
According to Boyagoda (2008), a mixture of people of different cultural background characterizes American population. This is because of increased number of immigrants who were poorly integrated in the society. Racial discrimination dominated this society for a long time in favor of the whites. Their high level of poverty prevented them from accessing good and quality education reducing their competitiveness in grabbing the existing opportunities. Their small number could not voice their grievances in matters of politics.
It was even worse for black women who were also discriminated against their gender. Things have however improved but not everything is well. Social classes that are characterized by economic disparities still exist. The poor black immigrants are yet to recover from their paucity and their color remains a mark that distinguishes them from the wealthy natives. The long-term notion that the ‘superior’ whites have perceived the ‘inferior’ blacks, as lesser human beings who are incompetent and incapable cannot be easily wished away.
This therefore makes it very hard to achieve the American dream. Bibliography Boyagoda, R. (2008) Race, Immigration, and American Identity in the Fiction of Salman Rushdie, Ralph Ellison, and William Faulkner. Available from: < http://books. google. co. ke/books? id=oyEOQRPWy-MC > [Accessed 6th, 7th & 8th December 2008] Aoki, M. (2001) Toward a Comparative Institutional Analysis. Available from: < http://books. google. co. ke/books? id=4FwnIwW2xiAC > [Accessed 6th &7th December 2008]