At the time blacks and Japanese in the armed forces were still segregated, while Chinese and Indians were in integrated units. A fig for your feuds and vendettas! In the early 20th century, the meaning of the recently popularized concept of the melting pot was subject to ongoing debate which centered on the issue of immigration. In practice, however, the melting pot requires minorities to melt the undesirable aspects of their culture, yet still excludes these parts in the overall soup; all you can taste is the culture of the dominant group.
In so far as people are all alike, there is no give and take among them. A fig for your feuds and vendettas! A cultural-sensitivity coach in San Francisco sums up a new attitude thus: Kallen implied that ethnics were virtually unmeltable, and suggested that Americanizers had been misled into thinking them readily remoldable because they concentrated on superficial externalities. While "melting" was in common use the exact term "melting pot" came into general usage in , after the premiere of the play The Melting Pot by Israel Zangwill. The melting pot was equated with either the acculturation or the total assimilation of European immigrants, and the debate centered on the differences between these two ways of approaching immigration: Whether they were escaping racial, religious, or political persecution, or seeking relief from famine or lack of economic opportunity, they all shared the same aspiration: While they are expected to shed the undesirable and unfamiliar aspects of their culture, the flavor of the pot has been and always will be distinctly white. At the end of the play the lovers are reconciled. Their program, Kitchen Conversations, aims to allow people to articulate their views about immigration and engage in a dialogue. The concept of cultural pluralism was popularized in the s by John Dewey. There she lies, the great Melting-Pot—Listen! The final heat which blends the ingredients of the melting pot is rage against an enemy which is fully dehumanized as a race of 'dirty monkeys. Much of the tension within the family stems from the difficulties of being immigrants and the varying levels of assimilation to American culture. That each cultural section should maintain its distinctive literary and artistic traditions seems to me most desirable, but in order that it might have the more to contribute to others. In the s, political correctness in the United States emphasized that each ethnic and national group has the right to maintain and preserve its cultural distinction and integrity, and that one does not need to assimilate or abandon one's heritage in order to blend in or merge into the majority Anglo-American society. More growth was seen from to than any previous decade in American history. There are relatively few ingredients that one melts in the kitchen — butter, fat, chocolate, perhaps cheese. The Washington Post, n. In practice, assimilation leads to a loss of a sense of identity for people of less dominant cultures, as they lose their original language and culture, a process that can be both demoralizing and dehumanizing. It was true, Kallen argued, that greenhorns often embraced assimilation as an economic strategy, and adopted American speech, clothes, and manners. Kallen also visited Dewey in New York. The idea of the melting pot holds the promise that each immigrant, regardless of race and background, can be transformed into an American. Rather than an equal blending of cultures, assimilation in the United States is largely one-sided, as immigrants and minority groups are expected to give up their traditions and conform to the preexisting Anglo-American culture. In the Melting Pot Theory, immigrants come to America, bringing with them their rich cultural history that they melt into the ever-evolving homogenous broth. All of these surrenders and contributions taken together create the national spirit of America.
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