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다문화주의를 넘어서 : Beyond Multiculturalism

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서울대학교 미국학연구소
미국학, Vol.24, pp. 77-93
Since the late 1980s multiculturalism has gained wide currency as a term which represents new sensibility and attitude towards cultural, racial, ethnic, and sexual differences. It has become the locus of debates regarding the national identity and curricula. Many critics denounce it because it does not merely advocate the diversity of food, clothing, and others, but presents a radically different view of cherished American traditions. Multiculturalists in general support such claims as Five Nation Confederacy of Iroquois League may have been a model for the American federal system, ancient Egyptian thought was the basis of Greek thought and thus Western and American civilization is rooted in African civilization, and slavery and genocide of the Native Americans were main pillars of American democracy. The controversy over multiculturalism has been somehow subdued since the mid-1990s. That is because much of multiculturalist ideals has been institutionalized, at least on surface, in various sectors of American society. Racial relationship, particularly that between Afro-Americans and Euro-Americans, however, provides a different picture of the apparent success story of multiculturalism. The ingrained racial conflict seems difficult to resolve in the near future, but the resolution is essential for the realization of genuine multiculturalist society because multiculturalism is nothing less than practicing democracy and American democracy is vacuous without the AfroAmerican experience. Ideals of multiculturalism could be realized only when along with their institutionalization, people can share the sufferings of other groups, racìal or sexual.
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