Nowadays, it is common to see people from diverse background living together in a single territory. Some societies are even lenient in allowing the existence of diversity which could be termed as multiculturalism. Multiculturalism is identified as the co-existence of different cultures in a single bounded territory where in the small group of people of diverse background have the right to practice things that are different from the dominant population and are still accepted as an important part of a whole (Kennedy-Dubourdieu, 2006, p. 1).
United States is considered as a land of diversity and a destination to millions of immigrants who are seeking to become a part of the “American dream. ” The rise of multiculturalism has been evident in the country since the second half of the twentieth century. Since then various debates have been raised against the fast-paced movement of multiculturalism in the United States. It has been consistently told that there are various drawbacks regarding multiculturalism (Parillo, 2008, p. 167). However, most of the people have always focused on the negative impact of multiculturalism, never realizing that things always have its flipside.
This paper sought to explore the positive impact of multiculturalism in the United States. According to Vincent Parillo (2008, p. 167-168), multiculturalism in the United States will not simply fade away. Because every nation’s strength lies among its people, it should be clearly understood that United States is not an exemption. The diversity of people played a substantial role in the development of United States as a whole. Many immigrants from different countries have come in the United States and contributed much in America’s evolution.
The coming of age of United States’ agriculture and industrial landscape was shaped by past immigrants who were responsible for the creation of transportation systems, cities and labor unions. Likewise, current immigrants have also strengthened America’s economic state. The technological industry of America rose to its competitive level because of immigrants who have recognized the full potential of these advancements. Apart from these, immigrants from different nations have brought billions of dollars in the nation’s economy with the help of their businesses, consumerism and occupations.
Additionally, the workforce of different sectors in the country has been benefiting from the diverse pool of people who are sharing their knowledge and skills in the union labor. The education system in United States is also not new with the aspect of multiculturalism. After World War II, the colleges and universities in the country has been more diverse. Through the acceptance of multiculturalism in educational facilities, majority of the people become more attentive about the rich concepts of diverse society, politics and economy.
Multiculturalism also set a ground for students to give recognition in the works of other people especially in the field of literature. The development of the influence of multicultural literature exposes students to become more understanding in the diversified forms of lifestyle outside America, which means that although there are no firsthand accounts with the actual events, the students are given the idea of how other cultures work, which in a greater scale could contribute to the knowledge of the students of where and how things have originated (Lowe, 2000).
Records also showed that educational facilities in the United States that are racially and ethically diverse substantially benefits the students because they are able to learn more in that particular environment and becomes a well rounded person. Students actively participates in the society that is driven with pluralistic and democratic thinking which in the end they could use once they leave the school grounds. In addition, the presence of multiculturalism in American higher education promotes the reduction of the patterns of racial segregation that has been permeating in the school grounds for such a long time.
The incorporation of diversity in the curriculum also serves as an opportunity for creating effective interpersonal relationships among students which they could later on use to act responsibly and negotiate on things beyond borders and colors (Clayton-Pedersen and Musil, 2008). Unlike other people from different nations who are able to speak two languages or are considered as bilingual, majority of the American’s are monolingual.
Because of this reason, American’s are placed in a disadvantaged position in the business community and global marketplace which are landscapes that encourages the usage of different languages. Through multiculturalism, the mastery of a secondary language is given priority in different sectors. It was also posted that learning another language enhances the mental mobility of an individual and provide a holistic view of the cultural background of the said learned language.
More so, learning a different language creates the whole American society attain the level of maturity and tolerance towards its relations with interracial groups. Thus, it is posted that additional languages through multiculturalism are indications that Americans have met the needs of minorities to find the freedom and opportunity in the “land of the free” (Parillo, 2008, p. 169). Multiculturalism also diminishes the ignorance and arrogance of American’s towards other interracial groups.
Since Americans and other racial groups are sharing together in a single territory, people happen to engage in activities that promote the knowledge about all shades of people. Suppose that an American did not have any encounters with a particular culture, and rely mainly on the news that he or she viewed such as that particular culture has minimal technology and are inclined towards nature. Consistently the American, who was born in a country that is technologically rich and driven towards modernity, would think that he or she is far more superior compared to the people in the said culture.
Due to this idea, the individual closes his or her mind to have any dialogue or contact with any of the members of that culture. However, through multiculturalism close contact between the two cultures are possible where in the other culture could be praised for their perspective of maintaining the environment that has been the top priority of many environmentalists while the other culture could be reinforced to understand that the continuous exploitation of the environment for the improvement of their prized technology does not reach the standards of true progressiveness.
In the end, there is a meeting of knowledge where in the questions that surround the American is satisfied by the dialogue that is made through multiculturalism (Ainsah-Mensah, 2007). Combating stereotyping as well as racial discrimination is also an advantage of multiculturalism. By discovering and building upon the similarities of every individual as well as acknowledging difference, various minorities in United States are able to break through the color barrier.
It is evident that from many sectors across the United State the optimal performance and productivity of every individual, American or individual of color, is enhanced because of the decrease in segregation. And because of this, the country’s monoculturalism has been translated into a pool of diversity where the maximum potentials of individual contribute to the improvement of every aspect of the nation and the true meaning of democracy and civil rights has been sufficed (Parillo, 2008, p. 68). Apparently there is a continuous increase in the multicultural society in the United States and various changes are taking place. However, it is important to note that the growing number of racial minorities in the country does not always post a negative impact on the nation as a whole. What many do not realize is the fact that the things that are sometimes viewed to be a threat for the improvement of United States could also be an asset.
Obviously people are more centred towards the drawbacks of multiculturalism not realizing that multiculturalism has been an important factor in shaping United States. Multiculturalism fosters a better understanding towards people of color. As such, it also bridges gaps undermined by ignorance and promote oneness and synthesis in different aspects of the community. Likewise, it is an important medium that encourages interracial relations. By deeply understanding the impacts of multiculturalism, significant changes for the betterment of the country and its people could be properly attained.
Courtney from Study Moose
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