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Neither a Melting Pot nor a Salad Bowl: America Is a Pizza

  • Date Submitted: 09/20/2014 01:39 AM
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Neither a Melting Pot nor a Salad Bowl: America is a Pizza
In multicultural societies like the USA, there are generally two different – often contradictory – models of racial integration. Traditionally, America is supposed to be called a melting pot, since with over two centuries, generations of immigrants have been “melted” together: that is, they have abandoned their cultures and national traits to become totally assimilated into American society.
But with the progressive individualism and increasing numbers of minorities, immigrants gradually considered cultural diversity a positive thing, and should be encouraged to maintain their traditions and native language. This model of ethnic integration can be described as a salad bowl, where people of different cultural and religious backgrounds living in harmony.
In academic areas, the issue of the America being a melting pot or a salad bowl seems controversial enough to be argued eternally. And the scholars are not the only ones who take an interest in this question, because the ordinary people care equally about the tendency of their country’s integration as well. Even the foreign scholars have noticed the significance of this issue: Professor Wang En’ming from Shanghai International Studies University, for one; in his work American Society and Culture, he explained to Chinese readers about those two models. He pointed out the importance of the Puritans and the frontiers in shaping the character of America first, then brings out an expression of Andrew Carnegie which has the underlying idea that leads us eventually to the melting pot thesis. As an analogy, he introduced the salad bowl thesis, too. Both of the two models have their advantages and inevitably flaws. With consideration of the development of politics, society, and people’s general attitudes, Professor Wang expresses an inclination towards the salad bowl theory.
An American scholar LeAna B. Gloor also wrote a paper (From the Melting Pot to the Tossed...


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