American Government And Politics : The Melting Pot

2725 Words Dec 8th, 2014 11 Pages
America has always been referred to as a melting pot. According to The Dorsey Dictionary of American Government and Politics, a melting pot is a sociological term that “implies (1) that each succeeding wave of immigrants to the United States blends into the general society and (2) that this melting is ideally what should happen” (Shafrtiz 348). The term is originally from Israel Zangwill’s play The Melting-Pot. In this play, he wrote “America is God’s Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all races of Europe are melting and reforming” (Shafritz 348). The term refers to the diversity of races, ethnicities, and cultures in America, as expressed by Israel Zangwill. However, within many cultures are subcultures, and America is not only a melting-pot of races, ethnicities, and cultures, but also of subcultures such as hip-hop. Culture has several, sometimes contradictory meanings, in which its uncertainty of a definition can be found in its different uses in history. Williams describes it as a
Particular way of life which expressed certain meanings and values not only in art and learning, but also in institutions and ordinary behavior. The analysis of culture, from such a definition, is the clarification of the meanings and values implicit and explicit in a particular way of life, a particular culture (Brake 1).
In this definition, culture is a way of life. In Swingewood’s definition, culture is the result of consumerism. He writes
Consumer capitalism, rather than creating a…
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