For over two hundred years, the dream of America has been the goal for many people from many lands. From those who believed the roads were paved with gold, to those seeking religious or economic freedom, it has been a country of people from diverse cultures. The Melting Pot of the World used to be an apt description of America. That is now changing, and diversity seems to be disappearing in this country.
The U. S. has immigration quotas, and a complex system based on various reasons for allowing immigration into the country. The entire point of this system is to restrict the number of people from other countries who come to live in the country permanently. This limits the amount of cultural diversity being renewed within communities where large groups of people from different backgrounds and cultures have traditionally lived and preserved cultural diversity.
Mainstreaming Through Social Media
Many people who came to this country as immigrants married, settled down, and had children. While these people might not quite fit into mainstream society, their children tended to be more acculturated to the lifestyle of modern America. These days, with the advent of social media, the children of immigrants are becoming more and more mainstream without retaining cultural heritages as strongly. According to immigration lawyer Joshua L. Goldstein, there appears to be leave less time for cultural transmission in today’s hectic world.
With illegal immigration becoming more and more of an issue, it benefits many immigrants who legally enter the country to properly attain citizenship and drop their old culture. These people have found there is less prejudice if they are able to blend in and act more like mainstream Americans – which clearly isn’t the case for all immigrants. Their children will also face less discrimination if they are completely acculturated to the world of modern America. This is a sad fact which stops the transmission of cultural heritage for these children and their parents, and further diminishes the cultural diversity of the country.
In today’s America, cultural diversity is no longer appreciated. The cultural absorption of immigrants and their children is happening faster and with more permanent results. Social media is helping this trend by teaching the children of immigrants to ignore their parents’ culture for the benefits of fitting into the new culture. Parents have found prejudice and discrimination when they do not fit into the mainstream, and are working harder than ever to get past their former culture. Mainstreaming has robbed the country of its rich history of cultural diversity and may be catapulting us to a flaccid and non-compassionate society.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.