We hear it almost too often: America is a melting pot of many diverse cultures, which have not only contributed to a rich blend, but have also adopted this fusion—though distinctly American—culture in turn. And yet assimilation is very much a constant in the American narrative. Barely two generations pass before most descendants of immigrants identify as simply "American." And of course, immigration and assimilation are not uniquely American phenomena—especially as of late, the debate is just as relevant in many parts of Europe and Asia, where assimilation comes with greater pains than in the U.S., which has been attracting immigrants since its founding. In the U.S. and elsewhere, there's no doubt that some cultural unity is essential to preserving a cohesive society, but to what extent can society accommodate immigrants who understandably want to retain their ancestors' traditions? (Conservatives in particular should appreciate the potential value of these traditions.) Assimilation becomes even more important as the state begins to play a greater role, especially at the federal level. Is smaller government the key to cultural pluralism, or do we need moregovernment to protect minority rights? Or is this a lost cause altogether, and is America slowly crawling toward vapid homogeneity?
Join us on Wednesday, September 3rd at 7:30 pm in the Berkeley Mendenhall Room as we wrestle with this always-relevant issue. All are welcome!