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Author Fischer, Claude S.
Source CiteSeerX
Content type Text
Publisher Princeton University Press
File Format PDF
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Data processing & computer science
Subject Keyword Detached Single-family House ♦ Eastern Europe ♦ Black Hair ♦ Antipodal Value ♦ Human Rainbow ♦ Undergraduate Class ♦ Cultural Difference ♦ Latin America ♦ Parental Right ♦ Blonde Hair ♦ Generation Residence ♦ American Society ♦ Student Ancestor ♦ Uncommon Value ♦ Equal Respect ♦ American Culture ♦ Human History ♦ City Life ♦ Political Ideal ♦ First Day ♦ Western Europe ♦ Kinky Hair ♦ Ethnic Consciousness ♦ Separate Bedroom ♦ Equal Opportunity ♦ Berkeley Campus ♦ Perfect Home
Description The first day that I meet my undergraduate class in “American Society ” at Berkeley, I challenge their notion that America is especially diverse culturally. The Berkeley campus is a hotbed of ethnic consciousness and students typically frame issues in terms of race and nationality. Many believe, at least implicitly, that ethnicity creates social and cultural differences. But on that first day, while scanning faces that are freckled pink topped with blonde hair, olive-colored framed by black hair, and ebony capped with kinky hair, I contest that presumption. Typically, these students have ancestors from all over the world, from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Western Europe. But virtually every one of them agrees, for example, that people should choose their own spouses, that each person deserves equal respect from the law and equal opportunity for success, that “one person, one vote ” is a political ideal, and that the perfect home is a detached single-family house where each child has a separate bedroom. These beliefs or values are, in the context of human history and geography, exceedingly odd; few of the students’ ancestors would understand, much less agree with, those views. Yet, so powerfully absorbing is American culture that long-enduring, antipodal values, such as parental rights to arrange marriages, vanish within a generation’s residence in this country. The human rainbow that is my
Educational Role Student ♦ Teacher
Age Range above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG ♦ Career/Technical Study
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 1999-01-01
Publisher Institution In Diversity and its Discontents: Cultural Conflict and Common Ground in Contemporary American Society