Hollinger- post ethnic america -commentary

Pages: 4 (778 mots) Publié le: 2 février 2011

David A. Hollinger, Postethnic America, 1995

This text is an excerpt from Postethnic America written in 1995 by David A. Hollinger, who is Professor of History at the Universityof California and currently president-elect of the Organization of American Historians. In his book, Hollinger exposes the issues raised by the term « multiculturalism » and the results of it on theAmerican society. So in a first part, we will analyze Hollinger's vision of American identity after the debates upon multiculturalism, then we will study the confrontation between traditionalists andprogressives, and at last, we will see the two levels of multiculturalism according to Hollinger.

First of all, the first paragraph presents the United States as a nation of multi-ethnics,questioning once more the notion of national identity from the very beginning. Indeed, Hollinger set the issue through a series of rhetorical questions, which constitutes the real essence of theethno-racial question. From the very beginning, the notion of multiculturalism is at stake and when he asserts that « the United States ought to be a home to a number of distinctive cultures, especially thoseassociated with different ethno-racial affiliations, is now widely accepted », he is pointing out the acceptance of multiculturalism, but shows later on that there are two sort of multiculturalism, anofficial one, upon which the debates are expected to occur, and a « falsified » one, a way out, a distorted version of what he calls the « true » multiculturalism, to escape the real questions.Notwithstanding, through the rhetorical questions the author tends to demonstrate that it remains a lot of work to be achieved to reach « human equality », which can not be possible without anequality between cultures. However, the first question Hollinger sends the reader think upon is if it exists a full American culture, made of different cultures -not only European ones- which all have the...
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