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The Ever-Changing U.S. Mosaic Chapter 14 Copyright © Allyn & Bacon This multimedia product and its contents are protected under copyright law. The following are prohibited by law: - any public performance or display, including transmission of any image over a network; - preparation of any derivative work, including the extraction, in whole or in part, of any images; -any rental, lease, or lending of the program.
Questions We Will Explore: What are some of the explanations for ethnic consciousness? Discuss ethnicity as a social process. What are the pros and cons of bilingual education? Describe the varying viewpoints about multiculturalism and political correctness. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003
Reasons for Ethnic Consciousness— Country of Origin In today’s world, an immigrant group can maintain contact with the country of origin not only through airmail letters but also through telecommunications, rapid transportation, and the continued arrival of newcomers. This can influence the ethnic consciousness of an immigrant community in the United States. Geographical proximity and the degree of stability or social change in the homeland has a profound effect on the migrant community’s sociocultural patterns and lifestyle. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003
Reasons for Ethnic Consciousness— Three Generation Hypothesis and Other Explanations Three-Generation Hypothesis argues that while the second generation emphasizes U.S. ways and neglects its own heritage, the third generation rediscovers ethnic identity. Other explanations include: a. Outside events heighten ethnic awareness. b. Only the better educated of a group become ethnically self-conscious. c. Variations in time and social structure and within ethnic groups encourage different types of responses. Copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003
Reasons for Ethnic Consciousness— The Changing Face of Ethnicity White ethnic revival was a backlash against the efforts of blacks, hippies, and liberals. Resiliency of ethnic identity remains even through acculturation. Ethnicity is a social process affected by and affecting residence. Symbolic ethnicity, identifying with one’s heritage through ethnic foods, holidays, and political and social activities, is now the most common form among European Americans. copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003
Ethnicity as a Social Process Ethnicity is a creation of a pluralistic U.S. society. Usually, culture shock and an emerging self- consciousness lead immigrant groups to think of themselves in terms of an ethnic identity and to become part of an ethnic community to gain the social and emotional support they need to begin a new life in their adopted country. Some sociologists have argued that ethnicity should be regarded not as an ascribed attribute, with only the two discrete categories of assimilation and pluralism, but as a continuous variable. copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003
Ethnicity as a Social Process (continued) William L. Yancey, Eugene P. Ericksen, and Richard N. Juliani concluded that ethnic behavior is conditioned by occupation, residence, and institutional affiliation — the structural situations in which groups have found themselves. Group consciousness arises and crystallizes within the work relationships, common residential areas, interests, and lifestyles of working-class conditions. Moreover, normal communication and participation in ethnic organizations on a cosmopolitan level can reinforce ethnic identity even among residentially dispersed groups. copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003
Pros and Cons of Bilingual Education Bilingual education — teaching subjects in both English and the student’s native language — can take the form of a transitional program (gradually phasing in English completely over several years) or a maintenance program (continued native-language teaching to sustain the students’ heritage with a simultaneous but relatively limited emphasis on English proficiency). For the many U.S. residents who assume that English- speaking schools provided the heat for the melting pot, the popularity of bilingual education — particularly maintenance programs — are a sore point. copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003
Bilingual Ed. — Pros and Cons (continued) Some in the U.S. see Bilingual Ed. as counterproductive because it tends to reduce assimilation in and the cohesiveness of U.S. society, while simultaneously isolating ethnic groups from one another. Advocates of bilingual programs emphasize that they are developing bilingualism — fluency in both English and the students’ native tongue — and that many children are illiterate in both when they begin school. Proponents of bilingual education claim that it reduces the minority dropout rate and helps students adjust to society. copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003
Pros and Cons (continued) Opponents charge that the programs are too costly, frequently staffed by paraprofessionals who lack fluency in English themselves, or subsidize political activities of vocal minority groups. Also, they complain that students remain in transitional bilingual program classes for many years, learning little English. Because bilingual programs vary so widely in approach and quality, it is difficult to assess overall effectiveness. However, studies show that students who are given enough time in well-taught bilingual programs to gain English proficiency test better in the eleventh grade than do those with no prior preparation in a bilingual program. copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003
Viewpoints about Multiculturalism and Political Correctness In its early phase, during the 1970s, multiculturalism meant including material in the school curriculum that related the contributions of non-European peoples to U.S. history. Next followed efforts to change all areas of the curriculum in elementary and secondary schools and colleges to reflect the diversity of U.S. society and to develop students awareness of and appreciation for the impact of non-European civilizations on U.S. culture. Some multiculturalists subsequently moved away from an assimilationist or integrative approach, rejecting a common bond of identity among the distinct minorities. copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003
Multiculturalism and Political Correctness (cont’d) New multiculturalists advocate “minority nationalism” and “separatist pluralism” with a goal, not of a collective national identity, but of specific, separate group identities. To create a positive group identity, these multiculturalists go beyond advocacy for teaching and maintaining a group’s own cultural customs, history, values, and festivals. They deny the validity of the dominant culture’s customs, history, values, and festivals. Some also argue that only those groups with power can be racist. Opponents counter that racism can and does exist within any group, regardless of how much power the group has. copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003
Multiculturalism and Political Correctness (cont’d) By 1990, various streams of liberation (including those championing peoples of color, feminism, gay rights, and the movement for the interests of the handicapped) coalesced into a movement known as political correctness. Advocates sought to create, on college campuses, an atmosphere intolerant of hostility toward any discrete group of people. Required courses on racism, sexism, and ethnic diversity were only one approach. Through the advocates’ lobbying efforts, numerous universities established codes delineating various forms of “forbidden speech” and inappropriate behavior; these codes were designed to protect groups from abuse and exclusion. copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003
Multiculturalism and Political Correctness (cont’d) Critics of political correctness asserted that the movement’s advocates were themselves ethnocentric and intolerant of opinions at variance from their own. They argued that Western civilization, with its cosmopolitan nature and absorption of aspects of other cultures, is more tolerant and inclusive than the views of multiculturalists. Political correctness became a controversial term with praiseworthy or derogatory connotations, depending on one’s perspective. The hottest debates focused on campus speech codes, which opponents maintained violated First Amendment rights of free speech. copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003
Summary Country of origin, three generation hypothesis, and other explanations offer reasons for ethnic consciousness. It has been argued that ethnicity is a continuous variable, not an ascribed attribute. Because bilingual programs vary so widely in approach and quality, it is difficult to assess overall effectiveness. Multiculturalism began as a movement of inclusion. Later some advocated minority nationalism or separatist pluralism. Political correctness became a controversial term with praiseworthy or derogatory connotations, depending on one’s perspective. copyright © Allyn & Bacon 2003
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