Cultural Pluralism, Minorities and Solidarity

When a small group lives within a larger society, maintaining their unique cultural identities, and lifestyles we refer to this as cultural pluralism.

This is an idea that is not uncommon in our modern society. The idea of cultural pluralism in America has its roots in the transcendentalist movement. A movement developed by pragmatist philosophers such as William James and John Dewey, and later thinkers such as Horace Kallen and Randolph Bourne. One of the most famous articulations of cultural pluralistic ideas can be found in Bourne's 1916 essay "Trans-National America" .

The object of sociology is the collection of social facts to enable us to study the behavior of people over the years and in the face of certain events, it becomes necessary to understand the current social situation.

In addition, by studying the evolution of society historically, we can analyze the conditions we currently live in and identify areas that require special attention to improve human coexistence.

Today, there are oppressed minorities in different countries of the world and systematic discrimination against certain social groups, largely due to the persistence of prejudice. There is discrimination, first and foremost, when the rights and opportunities that a group of people can access are denied to them and given to another because of the conduct attributed to them. Stereotypes exist in every culture, and every culture has had stereotypes placed upon it at one time in history or another.

The search for identity has been a constant struggle among cultures throughout time, hence it is important to analyze how humans have socially integrated into different societies and the problems generated with this assimilation.

Attempts have been made to classify the peoples of the world into races, identifying five large groups; however, the groups of the human population are a continuum because one man cannot be distinguished from another by his physical characteristics, blood or genetics. The race theory has been disproven long ago, yet it is is still a basis for many stereotypes.

The set of physical variations that ethnically significant societies (often the majority) define or apply to other groups is now no-longer a scale at which we measure people. It is a cultural category rather than a biological or physical reality because it is defined with respect to a dominant group. This definition is often used for racial discrimination.

Racism is a false and inherited attribution about the personality or behavior of people who possess certain physical characteristics. A racist person is one who assigns both superiority and inferiority to people who have a certain physique and who typecast their behavior. Again, racism is based on a dominant group's ideal, their misconceptions, and biases against another group or groups. The dominant group does not need to be in the majority. There are many examples throughout history where the dominant group was in the minority.

To me, racism towards indigenous cultures because of the attribution of inferiority and the racism against foreigners (those from regions excluding: European and North America) for the attribution of superiority of conduct is an argument which has been brought into the modern discourse. For many of us we could not define the "race" in which we belong as a single set of physical characteristics by the diversity of people who make it up. Even in groups that share a common cultural identity the amount of diversity disproves this argument. Why? Because for every example of the perfect specimen found you will find 100 more that do not match the ideal standard in the same group. It would be easier to, for example, define a dominant group like the European immigrants to the US as people of Catholic faith, who wore hats, drank wine, they worked hard, and yet many Americans do not enter that classification.

Racial identity is acquired from birth as nationality marks many of the cultural characteristics that will develop, although there are many exceptions that depend on personal choices. Evolution of cultural identity is a normal transition and cultural pluralism is a bi-directional share of information that helps a society reach an equilibrium based on ideals that are not genetically acquired.