Marginal ethnic groups in the USA are more assertive participants in revising and redefining notion of American multiculturalism?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I certainly believe that groups that once were marginalized are more assertive participants in the multicultural discourse.  We seem to be in a time where addressing the "crisis of representation" is of critical importance in the social, academic, and political notions of the good.  From a collective point of view, the elements of diversity and multicultural identity are not "fads" or something that is temporary.  Rather, this is where we are at this time and the more we delve into this domain, the richer our multicultural fabric is.  Indeed, groups that used to live on the periphery are becoming more vocal in this discourse.  Whether this process of relegation happened in racial/ ethnic, gender, or sexual identity realms, there is a greater sense of articulation being heard.  We are even being more aware to the issues of conflicting notions of identity in the redefinition of the notion of multiculturalism.  For example, African- American women can articulate their perspectives on both racial and gender levels, and this is becoming more prevalent as revising our understanding of culture.  One area where we are still having some difficulty in articulating a fuller vision of multicultural identity is on the economic level of social class.  In a nation where an overwhelming majority of citizens define themselves as "middle class," this is a challenge to hear of a more authentic redefinition of economic based identity.  The recent economic crisis has brought out a this narrative a bit, but it can only be understood as something "everyone is going through."  We are still relatively silent in our engagement of a serious, substantive, and transformative discussion about the institutional and social biases that exist in our society, as well as the role of political and economic power that creates stratified level of wealth and ownership.  This might be the one area where a marginal ethnic group is struggling to be an active participant in redefining and revising American multiculturalism.