Perspectives on Diversity
The United States today is a society struggling with its own diversity. There have been and still are many perspectives on how we as a society should come together and interact with others of different races, cultures and ethnic groups.
The Anglo Conformity Perspective views the values, norms and standards of the United States as an extension of English cultures because the English were the dominant group during the colonial era and when the new nation was emerging. (pp. 177) This group rejects diversity and favors homogeneity maintain that everyone should conform to the values, norms and standards determined by the Anglo founders of the country and was modified by the continuing white majority. This requires that immigrants conform to the Anglo way and abandon their ethnic heritages – the customs, ceremonies, clothing and traditions of their former culture. All immigrants even the Europeans were required to adopt the American ways and become similar to everyone else.
In the late 1800’s one the ways of Americanizing everyone was the implementation of BIA boarding schools that promoted Anglo conformity to the Native American children. These children were taken from the reservation, and not allowed to even return home on the weekends. The children were forced to cut their hair in Anglo styles and dress in Anglo style clothing in an effort to have them give up their heritage. Many years passed and finally the absurdity of what they were trying to do was realized that their emphasis on conformity, uniformity and individual achievement were too contrary to the intrinsic Native American values.
Some immigrant groups benefited from the Anglo conformity such as the Northern Europeans. When they conformed to the Anglo ways by the way they dressed, , talked and behave, they became easily accepted because their skin color was white. Their skin color gave them obvious advantages over other immigrants who were...
References: Koppelman, Kent L. & Goodhart, R. Lee (2008) Understanding Human Differences, Multicultural Education For A Diverse America, 2nd Ed.
Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. (pp. 163-183)
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