Cultural Diversity

Overview

The United States is perhaps the most culturally diverse nation in the world, and has frequently been called a "melting pot," "tossed salad," or "multicultural society" to reflect that diversity. However, since it's founding, the country has experienced conflicts—many of them violent—due to intolerance of values and views different from those of the majority. Cultural Diversity is a teen guide showing how cultural differences may be at the root of conflicts that crop up daily in high schools, on the job, in the ...

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Overview

The United States is perhaps the most culturally diverse nation in the world, and has frequently been called a "melting pot," "tossed salad," or "multicultural society" to reflect that diversity. However, since it's founding, the country has experienced conflicts—many of them violent—due to intolerance of values and views different from those of the majority. Cultural Diversity is a teen guide showing how cultural differences may be at the root of conflicts that crop up daily in high schools, on the job, in the courts, and even within families. In some cases these conflicts are the result of extreme racism, religious bigotry, or outright hatred for a particular group of people. This young adult resource is volume six in a new series entitled It Happened to Me, featuring teen voices. Topics such as prejudice, religious bigotry, racism, gender bias, sexual orientation, scapegoating, and stereotyping are presented with stories about young people who have faced problems and with forthright views from young people who have worked to foster respect for diversity. Along with anecdotes are historical perspectives. Each chapter begins with a quote, usually from a teenager whose words reflect the focus of the chapter. Numerous sidebars provide factual information about the causes of cultural conflicts, how stereotypes are perpetuated, the kinds of discrimination that various groups have suffered, and how hate groups operate. Scattered throughout the book are features that present conflict situations and ask readers: "What do you think?" In addition, readers are challenged to check out factual statements, to read other books that focus on cultural diversity issues, and to take action to instill respect for cultures different from the American mainstream.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One), one of our nation's highly regarded beliefs, is put to the test in this book. It provides teenagers with answers to questions concerning issues of conflict prevalent in a society in which cultural diversity is both acknowledged and misunderstood. The book is timely given the ever-increasing cultural tension as a result of the September 11 tragedy. The writing is fresh, interesting, and straight to the point as the voices of teenagers, alongside those of scholars, researchers, and professors, add to the book's appeal. Anecdotes, personal narratives, research, statistics, and historical perspectives make teens aware of culturally motivated discord that manifests via prejudice, racism, homophobia, scapegoating, and stereotyping. While some informative sidebars provide additional information about topics discussed in each chapter, others present thought-provoking episodes, circumstances, or points of view that allow readers to consider their own opinions about the topic. The black-and-white photos of teens on each page also give the book a personable feel. A useful section that provides further information including books, organizations, and Web sites about cultural diversity is provided at the end for curious readers. This easy-to-read and comprehend text urges all readers, whether young, old, or reluctant, to become informed about cultural groups in an effort to reduce the racial strife and intolerance that exists in society. Additional titles in this "It Happened to Me" series discuss learning disabilities, stress, sex, epilepsy, and asthma. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest inthe subject; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Scarecrow Press, 144p.; Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Source Notes. Further Reading., Trade pb. Ages 12 to 18.
—KaaVonia Hinton
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Gay's approach to this important subject is to define terms, identify the challenges, and propose ways to promote positive social change. This is not easy; the problems of bigotry are complex and many. The author presents the historical basis for many of the ideals we hold as Americans and offers some interesting commentary on our nation's founders. The text also contains teens' personal experiences with hatred and insensitivity based on gender, sexual orientation, race, and creed. The back matter includes lengthy chapter notes, selected Web sites, a solid list for further reading, a large list of organizations, and an informative glossary. Dark gray sidebars contain useful information, but in conjunction with the black-and-white photographs, the look is somber and serious. However, the author does an outstanding job of tackling an emotionally charged topic and relates violent and destructive situations with grace and intelligence. Cultural Diversity should be in all libraries for its logical and understandable examination of prejudice and enduring stereotypes.-Jane Halsall, McHenry Public Library District, IL Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810848054
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Series: It Happened to Me Series , #6
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 668,156
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 0.27 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 10.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathlyn Gay is a full time freelance writer. She has authored more than 100 books and articles that focus on social and environmental issues, culture, history, communication, and sports for a variety of audiences.

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