The meeting of dominant and minority cultures: Integration vs. separatism
This chapter begins with the nature of the interaction between the dominant and minority cultural communities. The guiding principle is that interethnic inequality and conflict can be alleviated or exacerbated on the basis of whether the society enforces a pattern of cultural integration or unification, or cultural segmentalization. US society has historically upheld a cultural framework based on separatism, a pattern that may be evidenced, among other things, in the thematic preponderance of the idea of ethnicity itself, in the public and official discourse of the society. There are many other black/white cultural differences in American society that represent the larger pattern of cultural separatism, some easily noticeable, others more subtle. The African influence may have held over in the music and dances of American blacks in certain areas of the South, particularly Louisiana. The intensity of Luso-African cultural interpenetration is shown in the fact that the plantations in Brazil frequently had African names.