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The term multiculturalism is constituted through the positioning of Anglophones of European descent as the founding people of the nation and all others as an ethnic mix of multicultural characters. This sets up a distinction between “us” and “them” whereby “them” are seen as less civilized or cultured than “us.” Although multiculturalism was conceived as an alternative to assimilationist or integrationist ideology–often referred to as the cultural melting pot–its guise of celebrating different cultures overshadows the real critique of power relations that is inherent in the polarity of us and them. Multiculturalism can be defined as a stance that takes a position on the racial and ethnic diversity of the United States–a position that rejects assimilation and the melting pot image as an imposition of ...

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