Melting Pot Concept in the U.S
In fact, it's not really true at all. If one takes a closer look at America today, one sees millions of people labeled Americans but not by how they act, what religions they practice and what kind of foods they eat but where they are born. total opposites. Now all Americans must be able to speak English, or at least bad English, and they must also follow the laws set fourth by out four fathers, but no two Americans are alike. Take San Francisco for example. Twenty years ago, it was the center for the hippie movement, but just down the street from Haight and Ashbury there is a place called China Town. A place placed filled with Chinese Americans, shops and temples that could be easily mistaken for buildings only found in China.
For them is was an image of perfect society when people from parts of the world, representatives of different heterogeneous cultures create a homogeneous society exactly the same as different substance melt inside the pot to form a new one. The metaphor was used in the framework of vision where the United States are considered an ideal republic, a new promised land. Millions of immigrants sailed to America to start a new life. They brought their own language and culture to another land. However, they were made to adapt to the rules of the severe country and everything melted in one culture, which was accepted by representatives of different nations. The notion of “melting pot” came into general usage after the play The Melting Pot written by Israel Zangwill at the beginning of the 20th century. As for the United States it denotes the process of Americanization or cultural assimilation including intermarriages and other forms of acculturation. Nowadays, the United States still remains the country where different nations live. Nevertheless, the notion of melting pot cannot be applied to its development and policy. The 20th century’s history showed that every nation should be treated respectfully and the culture of every ethnicity should be appreciated. Therefore, the United States can be called a multicultural country. The policy of bilingual education as well as creation of cultural centers is implemented. Everyone tries to save its own individuality and focuses of cultural differences.
Flora Davis (1999) was one of the first scholars who called American diversity a salad bowl. Moreover, she intended to presuppose that melting pot is not what the USA meant and the changes created a new structure of American society. Conducting a research devoted to society and diversity, Flora Davis (1999) noticed that some people who came to the USA managed to retain their national peculiarities and conserve their traditions and culture. This tendency was used by different people, therefore, she came to the conclusion that the time of melting pot passed by. People began to remember their cultural belonging and tried to retain them on the new territory. Calling American society a kaleidoscope, Lawrence H. Fuchs (1990) wanted to stress the tendency when both the immigrants and society adapt and change. Being similar to melting pot, this vision of the issue is something different as in comparison with melting pot where the American mixed culture is predominant, kaleidoscope means that all the participants of interchange of cultural peculiarities get similar issues. It is essential to stress on such peculiarities of kaleidoscope as sharing and interchange. In this case, both the representatives of the US cultural diversity and those who brought their personal vision of culture to a new place share their vision of culture and get new features. Therefore, the Chinese ethnicity has something different traditions living in the US than their family in China even in case both representatives of the same culture wanted to retain their traditions. Kaleidoscope presupposes change and it is impossible to omit it. The supporters of this vision are sure that it is impossible to live in another country without cultural assimilation.
The Melting pot is the part that every person things they are willingly giving, but in reality they are forced to give away for the sake of the nation.
Davis, F. (1999). Moving the Mountain: The Women’s Movement in America since 1960. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.
Fuchs, L. H. (1990). The American Kaleidoscope: Race, Ethnicity, and the Civic Culture. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.
Jacoby, T. (2004). Reinventing the Melting Pot: The New Immigrants And What It Means To Be American. London: Basic Books.
Vincent, D., & Parrillo, N. (2010). Strangers to These Shores: Race and Ethnic Relations in the United States. New York: Allyn & Bacon.