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Today’s Melting Pot in America

Today’s melting pot in America

Melting pot is not a new term in America as it dates back to 18th century. Melting pot is a word or metaphor used to describe how a heterogeneous society can become homogenous. It describes how immigrants were assimilated in the United States. American immigration dates back in 1607 during the Jamestown colony (Barone, 2006). In the year 1620, another group of immigrants entered America from England, and they referred to themselves as Pilgrims. Since this period, the number of immigrants entering the United States has been increasing.

America has been referred to as a ‘melting pot’ due to how it welcomed people from different nations, with their diverse cultures, race and religion. Immigrants entered into the United States to search for greener pastures and freedom. The history of America is marred by many happenings, one of them being immigrations. Slavery contributed to immigration as people were sold from other countries to become slaves in the United States (Jacoby, 2004). The immigrants then settled in the new land, bringing in their traditions and cultures contributing to cultural diversity in America. The cultural diversity realized today makes America be regarded as a ‘melting pot’.

Cultural diversity has given birth to American culture. Thus, the old melting pot is giving birth to new metaphors like ‘mosaic’ and ‘salad bowls to further describe the multiculturalism in America. Although the population of immigrants is not unified in one pot, it is transforming the American society into a heterogeneous or mosaic society. Others fell that America is not a melting pot but rather a ‘salad bowl’. As a salad bowl, people who immigrated to the United States still held on to their native cultures and did not take the new culture (Barone, 2006). Therefore, the American society became a mixture of different ingredients, each with its characteristics as noted in the salad.

Although the term melting pot is still being applied in the US, the modern society is disregarding it as well as the idea of multiculturalism and cultural pluralism and brings in the assimilation process. However, assimilation is a term used to describe how immigrants are using the American language as their first language (Barone, 2006). According to multiculturalists, assimilation can have an adverse effect to the minority groups as it strips away their distinct cultural characteristics.

Today, the American culture describes the western way of living. This means that America has shifted from majority-minority culture to a more integrated and assimilated society (Barone, 2006). Interactions among people with varying cultural backgrounds have encouraged development of understanding and solid bonds. Although America has made a great move to integration, most of the immigrants still feel as outcasts due to color and racial discrimination in many places such as employment opportunities, schools and healthcare facilities.

It is clear that the American Demography has changed and the United States is a cultural-diverse nation. American diversity is slowly gaining acceptance since the United Sates is prioritizing social work, which its own obligation is to develop special knowledge and perceptive of cultural diversity in the society. According to a Census report of 2013, it was confirmed that white births are declining over the years. It was found out that the majority young generations are from the minority groups and are expected to contribute to the country’s political, economy and identify.

Barone, M. (2006). The new Americans: How the melting pot can work again. London: Regnery publishing.
Jacoby, T. (Ed.). (2004). Reinventing the melting pot: The new immigrants and what it means to be American. New York: Basic Books.

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