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What is Multiculturalism in American Literature?In regards to the themes, problems,...

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psalexandra | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 11, 2011 at 8:17 PM via web

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What is Multiculturalism in American Literature?

In regards to the themes, problems, ethnic groups of writers, etc.

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 12, 2011 at 1:24 AM (Answer #1)

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Multiculturalism is the way in which different authors maintain their identity through their work while educating others on their cultural ideas.

In the beginning, Multiculturalism was denoted (inaccurately) as a sort of "melting pot." Unfortunately, the use of this term tended to force people to adhere to one specific set of cultural rules. True multiculturalism allows people to raise up who they are, where they came from, and their ideologies (in order for acceptance).

That being said, while different, all Multiculturalists desire the same thing: acceptance. Therefore, their texts speak to similar things: themes and conflicts (problems). The most common theme of Multicultural texts is illustrated and lifted up for the education of readers on the acceptance of ideologies outside of their own. The importance of this is that narrow-minded supremacists need to be enlightened on how other races and groups need to have the same rights as those who shun and are prejudiced against them.

The Multicultural movement, therefore, is important based upon one fact: acceptance of cultures, races, and ideologies outside of the globalized thought.

Themes common to Multiculturalists' texts are one which speak to the alienation and isolation by those who do not recognize the minority as relevant. The theme, which resonates through conflict, proves to be one which identifies a search for acceptance as one is (or a group is). The conflicts normally speak to the issues which have arisen based upon ignorance and fear of the unknown for those who cannot identify or relate to those unlike themselves.

The ethnic groups of Multiculturalists in America is great. Simply, any writer speaking out for their right to belong, have the same rights as the majority (White), and educate on their culture would be considered a Multiculturalist.

Examples of Multicultural authors would be African American authors, American Indian authors, and any other authors who are (basically) not of white descent.

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