Presentation Title

Examining Ideologies of Homogeneity and Pluralism in the United States.

Presenter Information

Eli WibelFollow

Advisor Information

Laura Alexander

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

26-3-2021 12:00 AM

End Date

26-3-2021 12:00 AM

Abstract

This project considers two competing ideologies, an ideology of homogeneity and an ideology of pluralism, that have significantly influenced thought, policy, and rhetoric in the United States. Since the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution were written, American leaders have consistently claimed to ascribe to ideals of democracy, rights, liberty, equality, and opportunity. At the same time, some leaders and citizens have understood the American “nation” to be defined by identity markers such as whiteness, Christianity, and the English language. This ideology of homogeneity tends to promote the ideals of liberty, opportunity, and so on for specific Americans while denying them to others. Running alongside this ideology throughout American history has been a competing ideology of pluralism, which sees differences in identity as either neutral or a strength. Proponents of this ideology advocate for Americans to enjoy liberty, opportunity, and so on without having to conform to dominant identity markers. After examining the two ideologies from historical perspective, the project will argue that an ideology of pluralism better comports with and supports the basic values that Americans claim to hold. After considering these ideologies, I will examine and describe specific steps that can be taken in the U.S. education system to both draw on and enhance an ideology of pluralism.

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Mar 26th, 12:00 AM Mar 26th, 12:00 AM

Examining Ideologies of Homogeneity and Pluralism in the United States.

This project considers two competing ideologies, an ideology of homogeneity and an ideology of pluralism, that have significantly influenced thought, policy, and rhetoric in the United States. Since the American Declaration of Independence and Constitution were written, American leaders have consistently claimed to ascribe to ideals of democracy, rights, liberty, equality, and opportunity. At the same time, some leaders and citizens have understood the American “nation” to be defined by identity markers such as whiteness, Christianity, and the English language. This ideology of homogeneity tends to promote the ideals of liberty, opportunity, and so on for specific Americans while denying them to others. Running alongside this ideology throughout American history has been a competing ideology of pluralism, which sees differences in identity as either neutral or a strength. Proponents of this ideology advocate for Americans to enjoy liberty, opportunity, and so on without having to conform to dominant identity markers. After examining the two ideologies from historical perspective, the project will argue that an ideology of pluralism better comports with and supports the basic values that Americans claim to hold. After considering these ideologies, I will examine and describe specific steps that can be taken in the U.S. education system to both draw on and enhance an ideology of pluralism.