Multiculturalism As Basis For Varied Ethno Racial Projects

Decent Essays

The Rhetoric of (Failed?) Multiculturalism as Basis for Varied Ethno-Racial Projects:
The United States and Germany in Comparison

Emerging during the post-WWII reality of the United States, the term “multiculturalism” has long been embedded into the fabric of American understandings of race and ethnicity. Despite recent efforts to move ‘beyond multiculturalism’, this word and the color-blind ideology supporting it will continue to shape the trajectory of attitudes, policies and activism in the United States. Similarly, multiculturalism in Germany—which was adopted from US-American concepts to address Germany’s own unique post-WWII large-scale—will continue to shape the trajectory of group relations in Germany. As such, this paper focuses on a comparative perspective between Germany and the United States and their respective perceived need for and utilization of the rhetoric of multiculturalism(s). What can we come to understand about multiculturalism in two cases of Germany and the United State? By building off existing sociological perspectives on each case individually and existing academic comparisons, it will become clear, that while distinctively a “(ethno)racial project:” (Omi and Winant) and perhaps as an ethno(racial) project, multiculturalism is used in both countries differently: in the US it is supposed to be answer to the race problem in an ironically “color-blind” society that increases the attention on ethnic and most importantly racial differences; in

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