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4 Tutorials that teach Multiculturalism
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Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism

Author: Zach Lamb
Description:

This lesson will explore and discuss multiculturalism, Eurocentrism, Afrocentrism, and monoculturalism.

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Tutorial

Source: Intro Music by Mark Hannan; Public Domain

Video Transcription

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Hello, and welcome to Sociological Studies. As always, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to study society. The topic of today's lesson is multiculturalism.

Multiculturalism is an orientation that recognizes the cultural diversity of the United States and encourages equality for all cultural traditions. Multiculturalism is really a debate being waged right now. The US has a long history of striving for the opposite of multiculturalism, what we call, monoculturalism, which is a single homogeneous culture.

So throughout the US history, America has really been Eurocentric in its culture, which is the dominance of English and European cultural traditions in American life. So we have strived for, historically, a monocultural society that is Eurocentric. Again, that being a culture dominated by European traditions.

In fact, in America, one of our earliest experiences with cultural diversity was contact with the native North American populations. And these people were systematically rounded up, and children are sent to government-run schools where they were taught to learn English with the goal of hopefully assimilating into American life. The goal was to eradicate Native American cultural influence, get that out of society, and produce one monocultural society. So there's really a debate, then, being waged right now how to reconcile our monocultural heritage with the increasing contemporary reality of multiculturalism.

Turn your ear then to the rhetoric of American politics. We hear this debate about multiculturalist versus monoculturalist future for America all the time. Multiculturalists, you'll here, are in favor of rights for immigrants and recognizing the contributions immigrants make to the American Society and economy, whereas monoculturalists, on the other hand, you hear things about them wanting to put up a border, an electric fence, with the US Mexico border or to find immigrants and deport them. So when you're reading or watching the news, I encourage you to look for signs of these underlying monocultural or multicultural perspectives.

There are some people who fight for a multicultural future for America who espouse the perspective of Afrocentrism, which Afrocentrism is a prospective that encourages people to recognize and promote African American cultural traditions. This is a way to legitimize these traditions in American life and push back against the monocultural ethos in an effort to advance a more multicultural future. So then what I want you to take away from this lecture is the idea that multiculturalism is a prospective pushing for the equal treatment of all cultural influences in American life, as well as to recognize the contributions of other cultures to the dominant American culture.

So thank you for joining me today. I hope you enjoyed the lesson on multiculturalism. Have a great rest your day.

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Afrocentrism

    A perspective that encourages people to recognize and promote African cultural traditions.

  • Eurocentrism

    A preference for the European, especially the English, cultural traditions in American life.

  • Monoculturalism

    A perspective that seeks to cultivate a single, homogenous culture.

  • Multiculturalism

    A perspective that recognizes the cultural diversity of the United States and encourages equality for all cultural traditions.