In “ The Chinese in All of Us” , Richard Rodriguez explores Multiculturalism. Rodriguez talks about the effects that multiculturalism of the American society had on his life. Being the son of Spanish speaking Mexican immigrant parents, he narrates the constant encounters he experienced while growing up in America. In defense of all the labeling and accusations he faced as a reaction to his book, which highlighted issues such as bilingual education and affirmative action, he wrote his understanding of the issue of Multiculturalism while maintaining one’ s own ethnic identity. He further elaborates, that though America is a blend of various cultures and it takes pride in it, it still has its own identity.
America has its own individuality, its own culture. Multiculturalism in America and its impact on the American identity is constantly debated, where one side calls it the essence of American society whereas the other side considers it a threat to the American identity. (Rodriguez n. p)America is a multicultural society, where different cultures coexist alongside each other. Multiculturalism started as a movement at the end of the 19th century in the United States and Europe.
The mass immigration of southern and eastern Europeans and Latin Americans were the driving forces behind it. The genesis of multiculturalism was the concept of cultural pluralism. The different features of different cultures often combine and incorporate. In this way, a cultural blend is formed which creates an environment of tolerance and respect for each other. In a multicultural society, individuals have the freedom to practice their own religion, follow their own dressing code, to eat what they want and participate in cultural practices despite its variance from the mainstream cultural norms.
Since the first half of the 19th century, the United States has witnessed a constant mass immigration. These immigrants have played a pivotal role in shaping the cultural landscape of America. The immigrants having their own values, beliefs and attitudes, created their own perception of the adopted home.
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