Multiculturalism Of The United States As An ( Ethno ) Racial Project

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Kim 2004: 996). Thus, it might be more appropriate to speak of multiculturalism in the United States as an (ethno)racial project. While the direct origin of multicultural rhetoric was America’s race problem, it cannot be fully said that multicultural theory directly answered questions of American’s race problem. In fact, as much as official multiculturalism attempted to make sense of the increasing “diverse” makeup of its nation, it also hid many of the issues that it was attempting to resolve. For instance, multiculturalism in the United States could be seen as reifying triumphalist narratives of the United States as this great and ever improving ‘melting pot’, at the expense of erasing the counter-narratives of exploitation and power relations that lead to the very “multicultural” fabric of the present and the past United States. (Kim 2004 989; 993-94). Beyond mistakenly painting immigration as voluntary, multiculturalism—especially that of official multiculturalism—created new understandings of ethno-racial dynamics that did not map onto the reality of the United States. This method is tri-fold. First multiculturalism created “anti-modern” connotations of compartmentalized and “primordial, ascribed and all-encompassing” group identities (Joppke 2011, 31). Instead of leaving space for multiple sites of pluralistic and hybrid individual identity, a certain factor or element of a person’s identity became the whole of that person’s identity, in such a way that this one
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