chapter  8
15 Pages

Ethnic Pluralism and Civic Responsibility in Post Cold War America

WithJohn H. Stanfield

The normality of Americans' intolerance toward those who look and act differently is perhaps the major reason why the United States is experiencing difficulty coming of age in this post-Cold War era. In the social sciences and the study of social policies, the degradation of non-white culture is vividly apparent in American society. Americans tend to think of volunteerism, participating in civic associations, voting, and advocating the implementation of the Bill of Rights as exercising civic responsibility. Cold War conceptions of civic responsibility garbed in mono-cultural notions of society and patriotism have been not only antithetical to the ethnically plural realities of the American nation-state but have also rendered claims of ethnic pluralism politically unacceptable. Even solid Euro-American citizens who are otherwise deeply committed to democratic principles have shown themselves to be some of the staunchest opponents to curricula of ethnic pluralism in public and private education.