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Ethnic Studies

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The United States of America is a multinational country. Thus, the issue of racism and the relations between different ethnic groups is very sharp nowadays. Perhaps, one of the main reasons of such relations is that people of different nationalities cannot understand each other. This term paper is aimed at showing and clarifying how the race has determined inclusion, exclusion, and segregation in the American society. First of all, it is important to explain terms that will be used along the paper. According to the topic of the paper, the main issues the paper will deal with are social inclusion, social exclusion, and segregation. Social inclusion is a kind of social lifestyle which ensures that its members are protected, taken care of, and people’s differences and uniqueness are respected and valued. On the other hand, social exclusion is opposite to the social inclusion: when social exclusion is present in society, a person feels neglected by the government; he/she is out of the cultural, economical, political, and social processes, which means that a person is not fully integrated into the society. Segregation is another social process, in which groups of people are separated on such basis as race, religion, ethnicity etc. Sometimes, segregation is referred to inequality because people who belong to minor groups tend to feel useless and try to do their best to belong to a majority group.

As it was mentioned above, the United States of America is a multinational country, where almost all ethnical groups may be found. Such situation may cause numerous problems, because there are always those who do not like socializing with people different from them. The USA constitution guarantees equal rights for everyone. One the other hand, nowadays, some ethnic groups have more rights than others.

It is very important to understand that all people are different, and they are unique in their difference: this is the main idea of social inclusion. Besides, social inclusion “calls for a validation and recognition of diversity as well as recognition of the commonality of lived experiences and the shared aspirations among people, particularly evident among families with children.”1 It is very important to understand that such social inclusion is perfect for modern American society because this policy means that nobody feels bad about his/her skin color. Though, nowadays, this sounds more like a myth. For years non-white Americans were considered to be different and those who are not worth living in such society. Although the laws have been changed and non-white Americans have the same rights as white citizens of the United States of America, the situation has not changed. Nowadays, the governmental authorities try to solve this problem establishing special governmental programs which help people to understand different nations and societies and accept others the way they are. The problem of inclusion in modern American society has to be solved because such situation may lead to war of nations as non-white Americans feel oppressed and sometimes, humiliated. At the same time, white Americans state that their rights are oppressed because non-whites have rights. It is difficult to understand who is right and who is wrong. On the other hand, it is understandable that people living in the United States of America are different and they need to be heard and feel valued. Nowadays, the policy of social inclusion is impossible in the United States of America because neither government nor both minorities and majority are interested in such changes.

As it was mentioned above, social exclusion is the process opposite to social inclusion. Although social exclusion is much harmful for society, it is more studied than social inclusion. There are three types of social exclusion: individual exclusion, community exclusion, and professional exclusion. Speaking about race, scientists always determine community exclusion, because every ethnical minority is a community with its traditions and habits. The history of social exclusion in the United States of America is rather long, because for years, white Americans were a majority, and they were establishing immigrant laws, which became one of the tools of social exclusion. For example, in 1965, the Congress of the United States of America has passed the new Immigration Act which established special quota for immigrants from the western Hemisphere. One may state that this is not an example of exclusion. However, the problem is much deeper: such act was passed in the Congress because some politicians thought that if the amount of immigrants from the western Hemisphere increases, it will lead to the increase in the number of immigrants from the Latin America. Such approach shows non-professionalism and perhaps, even racism. Such policy led to the increasing amount of illegal immigrants in the United States of America, which means that not every citizen pays taxes. The policy of exclusion may be dangerous for modern American society because it does not unite any nation or citizens of one country, besides, such situation may lead to interracial conflicts. Social inclusion and exclusion are two sides of the same coin, and they both have advantages and disadvantages. However, it is important to realize that there always will be those who try to understand other cultures and people’s characters, as well as those who will refuse to communicate with people who have different skin color. Therefore, it is impossible to make everybody live only according to the rules of inclusion policy.

Another problem of modern American society is segregation; and race is one of the criteria of such process. As it was mentioned above, segregation is a social process of dividing the whole nation into different groups depending on people’s race, religion, ethnicity etc. When speaking about segregation, scientists refer to the oppression of African Americans. It was common practice in the United States of America that African Americans and white Americans attended different schools; they were not allowed to enter shops for white Americans; they were living in special blocks; everything was done to separate white Americans from African Americans. Scientists divide segregation into two types: de facto and de jure. De jure segregation was abolished in 1941, but de facto it exists even nowadays. Jim Crow laws implied segregation by the race. Although the Supreme Court of the United States of America has struck down the Civil Rights Act of 1875 and the racial segregation was forbidden in trains and hotels, the situation in the South did not change. The Jim Crow laws guaranteed that black Americans had separate schools, entrances, receptions in public building, and separate places in trains. Besides, black Americans had separate restrooms and drinking fountains and they were allowed to visit museums only in special hours. Before the Civil War, black Americans were slaves, but after the end of Civil War, the situation has become worse: the process of segregation was supported by the police and local authorities. Besides, there were criminal movements such as Ku Klux Klan or Knight of White Camellia, which participants have murdered thousands of African Americans. Nowadays, the situation in the United States of America is also difficult because the representatives of minorities feel neglected and oppressed. People feel lost: they came to the United States of America to work on plants and factories, to improve its economics; and nowadays, plants and factories are automated and people are not needed anymore. On the other hand, they cannot come back to their home country because they do not have any job there and place to live. Besides, the representatives of minorities feel disrespected due to segregation and social exclusion. This paper has shown that the problem of racial inequality is very sharp issue that should be solved, but governmental authorities prefer not to notice this problem. However, not only government should do something and provide all people in the country with equal rights, but also citizens should be open-hearted and try to understand each other. The process of inclusion is the best way out for modern American society because it teaches people how to understand each other and live in peace. People should realize that the United States of America is a multinational country; and to prevent cultural and ethnical conflicts certain measures should be taken. Therefore, it is important to establish some governmental programs to help citizens to understand each other. Besides, there should be policy of encouraging parents to admit their children to multinational schools, which will help to make the policy of inclusion natural for future society of the United States of America.

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