22.01.2018 in Exploratory
An Ethnographical Trait in New York


When there is an increase in globalization there is a rapid movement of people across the borders. Migration usually influences the ethnicity of the countries. Multiculturalism is a word that is used to describe various interactions that occurs among many societies in the modern world. Multiculturalism in the view of many is a pressing necessity and cannot be escape if the structure of a society is considered in the open globalized world. Going by the international intellectual education multiculturalism is usually approached with various sets of predisposition.

Many aspects in the society are portrayed to contribute to disharmony in the society. Thus the need and desire for peace and understanding in the modern world has validated the need and requirement for multicultural sensitization in all fields. Looking at the history of the United States it can be seen that this society was brought into being by the immigrants from Europe. In the political scenario multiculturalism is used to refer to the advocacy of enhancing equity in different ethnic and religious groups.

There are different understandings of multiculturalism and this has caused need for enhancement of interaction and communication among different cultures. Interaction between various cultures enhances the chance for culture exchange between different communities.  In the United States there are no clear frameworks of policy that have been established to cater for multiculturalism. Instead, it is through different system like the ethnic studies program offered in higher education that try to tackle the issue of multiculturalism by incorporating non white people in their system of studies.


To address this topic effectively, various research methods were used such as interviews and questionnaire. This was conducted randomly on the selected group of people. In the interview process, these questions were asked and the respondents gave their views. I conducted the research from about 12 people with different questions who gave their own opinions.

Does it (cultural mixing) create a certain new culture? Or just the different cultures exist separately?

—-umm. I think both are right. I mean so many different people are living in NY. They came here with their own origin cultures and mind.

My origin is Korean and when I came here, my first reaction was that “wow, this place is not like most of other places in US.”

Yes, this is New York. I was surprised so many different races and some are trying to keep their cultures as we can see from J-town, K-town, china town and many others. but on the other hand, others are trying to permeate in this new society as result of the new culture.

—-If there is a new culture created from Multi culture, how it different with other cities or area?

—-I lived in New Zealand and Canada for few years before I came here. Those countries were more like adjust into the new culture rather than keep my own culture. So, I have to thrown away the background I had and become new person. I had realized that my original culture cannot be mixed with these cultures, However,  in NY there are some different aspects of circumstance. This city does not really want me to change, nor be living with American culture. New York allows me to keep my original culture. And yes, I do not have any trouble living with that.

—-How this multi culture affect on your design work? ( or general work)

—-Even I study in New York, I ‘m not just work as American but also work as Korean. It means that so many people from different countries make their own originality on their work. This country respects of it. It is a great experience to learn and see others with NY making a great multi culture.

Analysis of data

From the interview, it is evident that, mass immigration in the United States has been an issue of concern since the 19th century. All the cultures that are brought by the immigrants are intermixed without any action from the government. Each person who migrates into the United States is assimilated into this society. Most people who migrated to the United States were from Africa, Southern and Eastern Europe, parts of Asia such as Korea and the Latin America and were a part of pragmatism movement that resulted at the end of the 19th century in various parts of Europe and also due to the response of Europe imperialism in Africa. According to (Appadurai, 1996), different scholars developed concept of culture pluralism and from that multiculturalism was developed. The prevalence of multiculturalism was due to the rise of the civil right movements between 1950s and 1960s where minority of the society demanded justice freedom and equality to every person who was a citizen of America. The movements also led to the rise of racial and ethnic pride groups that fought against assimilation saying that it could not protect them from racist attack and that it enhanced prevalence of racism.

 Successful immigration has been enhanced by certain religious principles for example Christianity discourage people from racism and tribalism. Thus Christian groups started opening a way for people to migrate all over the world. They view human identity as being shaped by the relationship that exists between different human beings. Learning from each other and mostly the people who are different from those we are used to live with will enhance our tolerance and acceptance as asserted by (Banks, 1994). Thus they view multiculturalism as a way in which people from different parts of the word with varied ethnicity and cultural origin can be able to live together in peace and harmony. Being a process, multiculturalism is assumed to be a way along which some variety of cultural understanding through biculturalism taking it to an intricate social reality. So that this is achieved people have to learn how to communicate and how to form relationship between different communities. Those in support of multiculturalism believe that people should feel comfortable in different scenarios where cultures other their own is portrayed.

Some of the immigrants are temporal international workers who move from one country to another. Tourism and traveling for business are other major component of the population. Culture is viewed to be learned through observation of different traditional institutions. When this thing are continually repeated, accessed, learnt and understood they create a cultural person.

In New York it has been realized that there is exchange of culture between different ethnic communities because of the continuous exposure that is; Africans and Italians can be seen in the Chinese restaurant and the Chinese can be seen enjoying the African food. The increased frequency of intellectual contacts plays a very big role in facilitating multicultural learning. From study it has been seen that when one acquire traditional knowledge that is distinct from his own he may choose to apply this knowledge in different situation, places and try to integrate this knowledge in  different scenarios that affect their life. In New York a person who was fluent in more than one cultural tradition could identify with another.

The aspect of the multiple culture management is not a big issue until the person who practices multiple cultures is confronted with the work of defining himself in relation to a certain traditional knowledge. A person who opts to manage dual culture has to consider political and social implications of different identity options that are available to him. In New York, cultural identities are uniquely represented providing little or no competition of different psychological resources that exist in different cultural identities (En Guild & Van Selm, 2008). Successful management of multicultural identities was found to comprise different resolutions of conflict that arise from various internal and external demands.

After the industrial revolution and the world war II, there was an increase of immigrant causing people of different races to intermix due coexistence in the same place. New York is a unique city in the world as it is a mixture of different cultures. The immigrants are the overseer of the construction of this city and it is hard to pinpoint a superior culture than the other. The people who live in New York have the freedom to show off their cultures and different communities nurture their culture and can be seen celebrating their religious festivals.

When the Chinese are celebrating their New Year festival there is a feeling that you are in china and this is the same with other festivals. New York is the largest city in the United States with a population of about eight million people who have a long history of international immigration. In the year 2005 research showed that about 170 languages were present and spoken in the city. Thirty six percent of the population in this city was born in the foreign land. This shows why New York is referred to as unique ethnically diverse metropolis. The nine largest ethnic groups in these cities are Africans, Russians, Irish, Chinese, Dominicans, Indians, Italians, Puerto Ricans, and the Germans. Outside the city of New York the Puerto Ricans are the largest population. The people of Italy who had migrated to the city during the 20th century established different” little italies” in New York. African Americans are about twenty five percent of all the population of New York, Native Americans form about 0.4% and reside mostly in New York City, Asians are about eleven point eight percent, Chinese represent about 5.4% while pacific islanders make about 0.1% (Banks, 1994). The Hispanics and multiracial Americans form 27.5% and 2.1% respectively.

In New York multiculturalism is built on the basic principle of liberal democracy which states that people are equal, free and can determine the way they want to learn their life. Building on this, multicultural people say that there should be respect and sustenance of different ethnic and cultural differences. This democracy is forced to provide a balance in political neutrality distinction and separation of different matters that concerns the church and the state.

Multiculturalism by itself comprises many moral disagreements that goes with many issues that include value attached to different cultures. Strange enough, when there is support of culture diversity there can raise opposition on the areas where it is recognized. There have been opposition of multiculturalism with the people involved suggesting that this process creates ethnic dissection and hindered national efforts of community well being.

In New York multicultural approach to education has spread to many schools and, the school try to introduce the student to the diversity that exists in the world. This is for the reason that they want to create a notion and a feeling that the minority in the school have been represented. For instance, in history lesson presence of the struggles of the minority are emphasized. In New York there has been support of multiculturalism as it is seen to be fairer system that enhances the ground where people can communicate and express who they really are. It is argued that one cannot use only one race and religion to define culture, but there is more than one factor when the dynamic world is considered. When history of multicultural is considered that is it comes from the changes that erupted in the western society after the World War II, the horror of racism and ethnic cleansing can be viewed in a more vivid way.

As can be seen strategies to fight racism and ethnicity to guard the minority who live in the society are aspect of paramount importance to any democratic society. Multiculturalism use several discipline in highlighting different aspects in the society that has been neglected for many years; this are histories relating to women and the minority and ensure that dignity and values accorded to their lives are not forgotten in any way. A sense of wholesome is restored in multiculturalism by raising an understanding and consciousness about the past. In New York, within the popular and the intellectual communities, various ethnic groups are referred and regarded in ways that usually gives little or no attention that relate and exist within each other. Identity of an individual and the value attached to his life are determined by ethnic membership and not by the choice he make and his actions. It is believed that one cannot urge different people to believe that their origin and identity is usually determined by the color of their skin and they believe so. In the earlier days the white who never owned a slave and who are today with no personal responsibility are told to take collective responsibility simply because they are from the same race with those who owned slave.

This notion is wrong as viewed by some white as there should always be individual responsibility of wrong irrespective of the race, origin or tribe. This is one thing that must be understood by every citizen who lives in New York. The city of New York is a representation of social hybrid in North America in the flow of goods, currencies and people from all over the world creating a transnational landscape. Taking the above case this Trans global city serves as a centre for many cultures (Cummins, 1990). Due to economic pressure and different political assimilation, many immigrants have found themselves being integrated in the Americas way of living. It is an idea that multi culture cause the subdivision of pride that has a danger of undermining the ethnic integration in the society. Different Asians Americans who looks at their American identity and Asian identity as being different have much anxiety and depression than those who see that they identities are not that much conflicting. Thus, the minority ethnic group who holds essentialist race theory has undergone harder time when they try to integrate their experience with the host culture. Thus, when multicultural people try to negotiate the identity of their culture they usually turn cultural traditional into object of reflection.


The idea that multiculturalism is not compatible with national strategy is not a good one. Despite the problem that exists in integrating multiculturalism the importance of transnational integration should never be ignored (Banks, 1994). The increased knowledge of cultural sensitization will change how people view multiculturalism by ensuring that a multicultural mind are  well equipped with different sets of knowledge to help in interpretation. Exposure to other culture is closely linked to enhance creativity and increase intellect in intellectual interactions. On the other hand being in contact with multiple cultures can raise the concern of identity and mostly when there is a need or a desire to pledge allegiance of each other cultures. There is a dire need that culture psychologist and specialist address processes defining intellectual and intellectual inter-group in the coming days.

There have been critics of multiculturalism debating whether the multicultural ideal that coexistence of different cultures that interacts, interrelate and influence one another is actually desirable or even sustainable. Many argue that synonymy of a distinctive cultural identity of nation would be lost if Multiculturalism is enforced. This would eventually cause erosion of the nation’s identity and culture. According to (Baumann, 1999), a Harvard professor in his research found out that the more a community is diverse racially there greater there was social trust. Thus, the immigrant on their part found it hard for them to trust local product including the news paper, people and institutions. In this essay the issue of race and ethnicity in New York was seen to dominate many disciplines and mostly in the field of multicultural education.

In this age of cultural pluralism and diversity there is much need of multiculturalism to provide the reality of heritage in New York. Multiculturalism is the only option that is open to leaders, educators and administrators. The way of the future is thus, multiculturalism and it should be considered and taken seriously.

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