Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Vincent N. Parrillo
Multiculturalism is a belief, ideology, movement, or policy that has several interpretations, but essentially advocates the peaceful coexistence of different cultural, ethnic, and/or racial groups within a single society interacting with one another on a mutually respectful, equal basis. Generally, nativists and those favoring assimilation oppose multiculturalism in any form, fearing its threat to national unity. Whereas proponents view multiculturalism as the foundation of a truly democratic society, opponents consider it as quicksand that will swallow up the core culture of the country. Although a fairly new term coming into widespread public use in the 1980s, multiculturalism is actually a reformulation of the older concept of cultural pluralism , a term coined by Horace Kallen (1882–1974), a philosophy professor and immigrant from Eastern Europe. In the early 20th century, educator John Dewey and social worker Jane Addams both expressed concern about the loss of the cultural values of immigrants through ...