Essay on Ethnicity in American Media
American concern with the acculturation and assimilation of immigrants and their children has accelerated. The persistence of minority groups and of social inequalities in a nation dedicated to equal opportunity and freedom for all has remained.
The concepts of “melting pot” and “cultural pluralism,” therefore, represent opposing views of the American experience. In theory, both are valid. In practice, each has been modified by the circumstances of immigration. Thousands of immigrants come to the United States seeking refuge or better opportunities. Usually, the intention is to either settle permanently or live temporarily in this country. In either instance, newcomers are expected to adjust to the American lifestyle in order to facilitate acceptance in the host society.
According to the “melting pot” model, newcomers would gradually replace their national identity, culture, and language with that of the new society. Some immigrants have “melted” easily into American Society due to their willingness to be assimilated and the resemblance of their culture to that of the host society. Others have resisted this assimilation process and retained their ethnic heritage. The experience of various ethnic immigrant groups to the United States is similar.
Immigration to the United States is a result of many social, religious, political, and economic factors. Ethnic immigrants also face the dilemma of either accepting the host society’s way of life and becoming fully assimilated or preserving their ethnic identity and remaining somehow alienated. Many minority groups in the United States have felt frustration at the insensitivity of the mass-oriented media of the majority group to the needs of the minority. Ethnic media were founded in a period when the members of minority groups were facing a crisis of unusual stress or pain that was not being experienced by the majority population.
This stress continues for many ethnic minority groups. In addition to the frustration felt by minority groups. There are three major factors that contributed to the growth of ethnic media: first, the continued growth of racial diversity in the United States, second, technological changes in communication media; and third, continued segmentation of audiences through the media by advertisers.