Assimilation vs. Multiculturalism

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Here’s a problem for all of us to chew on…. In examining the cognitive approach to the study of prejudice, we have learned that the tendency to categorize people is at the heart of ingroup favorability, stereotyping, and ultimately, discrimination. One possible solution to the problem of prejudice therefore may lie in “de-categorization,” a reduction of the human inclination to categorize people into social groups. This idea is the basis for the so-called “color-blind society,” where individuals avoid any reference to the social categories of themselves or others. As a result, the thinking goes, all people will then be viewed as members of the same race (i.e., the human race), and prejudice should “naturally” disappear. The question this week asks whether this notion of assimilation is a promising one for the future. Before answering, check out a brief, but informative, discussion of the assimilation vs. multiculturalism controversy in Kite & Whitley (2016), pages 563-566.

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