Explore the concepts of American identity and diversity in American society in the past, present, and future (CO#2, CO#5).
Review course materials
The Module Notes
Takaki, A Different Mirror:
Chapter 17: “We Will All Be Minorities”
Gerber, American Immigration:
Chapter 6: The Widening Mainstream
Passel, J. and Cohn, D. (2008). US Population Projections, 2005-2050. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from: http://www.pewhispanic.org/2008/02/11/us-population-projections-2005-2050/
Yglesias, M. (2013). Long-Term Trends in Immigration. Slate. Retrieved from: http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/05/10/ historical_data_on_foreign_born_population_percentage.html
Hughes, L. Let America Be America Again. Poem Hunter. Retrieved from: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/let-america-be-america-again/
You may have noticed that on most US currency and the Seal of the United States a Latin phrase appears: e pluribus unum, meaning “out of many, one.” Today this phrase symbolizes a feeling of commonality among Americans, a sense of something that binds all Americans together, despite their racial, ethnic, religious, geographic, class, and gender differences. But what exactly does it mean to be an American today, and what did it mean in the past?
Based on your readings this week and throughout the course, consider the following in a post of at least 250 words:
How has the notion of “American-ness” changed over time? How might it change in the future?
Do you agree with the phrase “out of many, one” as a descriptor of American identity, or does this diminish the distinct cultures and backgrounds of the “many” in the United States?
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