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Perception and Reality

Sociology is defined as the study of one’s society. It requires investigative studies as well as critical analysis in order to understand the society. It has been carried out from as early as the 14th century, and it is therefore, an old art. Diversity in America is a book that addresses various aspects of diversity in America. This book explains the controversial topic of diversity and multi-cultural immigrants. Perception and reality is the focus of this book’s first chapter. Perception refers to how things appear to be. Reality, on the other hand, is the actual state of things. This chapter elaborates the concept of multiculturalism, as well as its effects on the American society.

This chapter states that multiculturalism has always been part of the American society. This is because immigrants were the initial citizens of this nation. It is, therefore, baseless to claim that modern circumstances differ from those in the past. Americans should not resent any immigrants coming into the country as long as they play their part in boosting the economy of the country. Most Americans claim that such immigrants drain their resources such as schools. They fail to realize that, through this education, the immigrants will help to develop the economy of the country in whatever career fields they choose. They should realize that America is a melting pot, and that is what makes its success story legendary.

This book addresses the concept of pluralism as the predecessor of present-day multiculturalism. Pluralism initially flourished when the immigrants started migrating into America in the early 1900’s. These immigrants were from various places especially Europe. However, during the world war, migration came to a stand still and pluralism declined rapidly. During this period, assimilation occurred as the inhabitants became ‘Americanized’ and developed ethic ties that were not there before. This period of assimilation did not last as long as it was anticipated to last. Pluralism once again flourished due to the removal of national quota restrictions. This caused an influx of people from developing countries. The immigrants were not restricted to only those from Europe but people of color, as well.

This book also explains Crevecoeur‘s ‘melting pot’ concept. This concept related America’s population as a melting pot due to the presence of several ethnicities in the country. This concept was widely supported by several sociologists. However, one aspect of this concept was controversial. Crevecoeur omitted people of color from his definition. It is not known whether this was intentional or not. The aspect of intermarriages was also overstated in this concept. During that period, intermarriages were rather rare due to factors such as differences in religious affiliation. People stayed as groups based on their geographical location, nationality and most importantly religion.

As much as there were these divisions in the country, Fredrick Turner envisioned America as a frontier that had already fused the immigrants into a new and composite nation. This is because the citizens worked together in order to achieve a common goal of improving themselves, as well as their new country. Not only did the immigrants work together but they also sustained an amicable relationship amongst themselves. There was never an occurrence of war in the country, and this was proof of their cooperation. Multiculturalism is therefore, an aspect of our nation that should make people proud. Since not many countries can boast of it, it may be shrouded in controversy but what is important is that it is the basis of our prestigious country.

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