metaphor—the salad or the melting pot/The Story We Tell – Race: The Power of an Illusion

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Part 1:

For much of U.S. history, we have prided ourselves on being a so-called melting pot. The process by which different cultural groups are stirred into the pot and create a common culture is a form of assimilation. It is in contrast to the notion that the United States is a salad bowl, where individuals maintain elements of their cultural heritage, but mix with other individuals from diverse backgrounds to create one big salad. This idea of the salad bowl corresponds with the concept of pluralism. After completing the Unit 2 reading, answer each of the following questions in your initial post:

    • Which metaphor—the salad or the melting pot—do you think best describes the United States historically?
    • Which metaphor do you think best describes our society today?
    • Is one pattern more beneficial for society than the other?Part 2:
  • Using the transcript attached The Story We Tell – Race: The Power of an Illusion or you may be able to find the video answer each of the following questions in your initial post:
    • Reflect on the title of the film. What is the significance?
    • What are some ways that race or ethnicity has been used to rationalize or justify inequality? To what extent has race been used to divert attention and even responsibility away from oppressors and instead toward their targets?
    • This unit’s reading presents two hypotheses for understanding the contact situation, or the ways in which groups come in contact with another: the Noel hypothesis and the Blauner hypothesis. Choose one of the contact situations presented in the video and explain which hypothesis you think works best for describing and understanding the relationship that formed between the groups you chose.

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