Event Title

The Disuniting of America: The Rise and Fall of the Melting Pot as a Primary Metaphor for America

Location

Old Dominion University, Learning Commons at Perry Library, Room 1313

Start Date

8-4-2017 10:50 AM

End Date

8-4-2017 11:10 AM

Description

The melting pot theory is a metaphor describing the assimilation of immigrants integrating into American culture. The melting pot metaphor emerged during the twentieth century in 1908, used by a British playwright named Israel Zangwill who wrote the play, entitled “The Melting Pot” which propagated the metaphor. However, before Zangwill, the American revolutionary era welcomed people from different nations, races, and religions, all hoping to discover freedom, new opportunities, and a better life. In 1782, a French immigrant wrote, “individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labors and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world” (Thornton, 2012). Throughout the Great Wave of Immigrants, conflicts resulting from forced assimilation contradicted American values resulting in the multiculturalism theory of the 1960s. Rather than assimilating, different ethnic groups would now exist in their separate identities.

Presentation Type

Presentation

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Apr 8th, 10:50 AM Apr 8th, 11:10 AM

The Disuniting of America: The Rise and Fall of the Melting Pot as a Primary Metaphor for America

Old Dominion University, Learning Commons at Perry Library, Room 1313

The melting pot theory is a metaphor describing the assimilation of immigrants integrating into American culture. The melting pot metaphor emerged during the twentieth century in 1908, used by a British playwright named Israel Zangwill who wrote the play, entitled “The Melting Pot” which propagated the metaphor. However, before Zangwill, the American revolutionary era welcomed people from different nations, races, and religions, all hoping to discover freedom, new opportunities, and a better life. In 1782, a French immigrant wrote, “individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of men, whose labors and posterity will one day cause great changes in the world” (Thornton, 2012). Throughout the Great Wave of Immigrants, conflicts resulting from forced assimilation contradicted American values resulting in the multiculturalism theory of the 1960s. Rather than assimilating, different ethnic groups would now exist in their separate identities.