Hanging Together: Unity and Diversity in American Culture


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Topics range widely from the evolution of American national symbols and the fate of our national character to new perspectives on the New Deal, on other major turning points, and on changes in race relations after major American wars. Yet they are unified by an underlying theme: Forget Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam: After the war of independence, historian Higham Strangers in the Land explains, this 18th-century European image quickly gave way to others.

Now in his 80s, Higham, a professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins University and past president of the Organization of American Historians, casts a wide net in this collection of 14 previously published essays the role of mechanical invention in U. Not wanting to ignore multicultural critiques, Higham discusses them but never manages to reconcile them with his more historically orthodox belief in the existence and desirability of a national character and culture, though he makes many insightful and enlightening inquiries along the way.

Throughout the collection, Higham exhibits a comprehensive knowledge and a sharp, analytic mind.

Hanging Together: Unity and Diversity in American Culture. (Book Notes)

Although intended for serious students of history, Higham's work is accessible to the amateur historian and a general readership with a background in U. This collection of classic essays by leading U. Patterns of American Nativism treats the subject of national character and the mechanisms by which people of divergent ethnic and class backgrounds have come together to identify as Americans throughout the country's history.

Higham respectfully objects to aspects of multiculturalism, noting that the movement's emphasis on the differences among racial and ethnic groups has failed to lead to the advancement of a coherent civic vision. He calls for historians to avoid "provincialism" and take up larger questions of national experience; his plea for a reexamination of the centripetal forces in American culture and society is compelling even while currently unfashionable in academia.

Though some of the essays in this volume are over 30 years old, they still feel fresh and vibrant. They are often addressed to an academic audience, but general readers with an interest in history can benefit from them as well. Any library seeking to maintain an adequate collection on the history and culture of the United States should buy this important and timely book. Thank you for using the catalog. Cultural pluralism -- United States.

Group identity -- United States. Historiography -- United States. United States -- Race relations. United States -- Ethnic relations. United States -- Civilization. Summary This book presents three decades of writings by one of America's most distinguished historians.

Library Journal Review This collection of classic essays by leading U. Excerpts Chapter One Hanging Together Divergent Unities in American History [] For about a decade American historical writing has been characterized by a repudiation of consensus and an invocation of community. Present-day historians seem substantially agreed that many of their predecessors overemphasized unities in American history and society. Yet perhaps never before have so much interest and effort gone into a search for those times and places in which a high degree of solidarity obtained.

On first notice, we have here a curious contradiction. The repudiation of consensus was supposed to permit a rediscovery of profound conflicts in our past. As known, peripheral and marginal groups have been infiltrating the centre by making their troubled situation visible to the wider public since the early s.

Antagonistic sentiments, taking place in the coastal locations of the Aegean region between locals and Kurds who have been subject to forced migration from the eastern provinces, set up another example along the same line. Growing hatred and xenophobia have emerged against Kurds, Alevis, Romans, Circassians, Armenians, etc. Those who are stuck in their remote ghettoes are destined to search for a ticket way out. A recent survey revealed that one third of the inhabitants of Istanbul -a city located on the shores of the Bosphorus and Marmara Sea-have not seen the sea in their lifetime.

This is the time for hundreds thousands of subalterns to go to the centre for window-shopping and touristic purposes. Such an investment is one of the reasons of Tayyip's success in the long run. The other reason is related to his social background. He found himself as one of the followers of Necmettin Erbakan, the leader of the ongoing anti-secular political movement in Turkey. In , he was elected mayor of the city of Istanbul.

He considered political life as the ticket way out. He is the only political party leader in Turkey so far, who is called after his first name by most of the Turkish population: 'Tayyip'. This is also an indication of his popularity among the working-class people and peasants. The Post-Helsinki Period : moderate turn towards democratization. The European Union Helsinki Summit on December moderately reversed the nationalist sentiments in the country by declaring Turkey as 'a candidate state destined to join the Union on the basis of the same criteria as applied to the other candidate states'.

The European Union Copenhagen political criteria, passed at the EU summit in Copenhagen in , require full implementation of democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and the protection of minorities. The decision taken in Helsinki represents a turning point in Turkish-EU relations and has created an optimistic environment for the resolution of ethnic, cultural and religious minority issues in Turkey, particularly of the Kurdish question. Both majority society and other ethnic groups including the Kurds welcomed the decision in Turkey.

It is apparent that recently many ethnic minority groups in Western Europe have been trying to surpass the nation-states, to which they have been. Basques, Corsicans and Catalans have, for instance, taken their demands on a transnational basis into the European Commission to be solved. Kurds, Alevis and other ethnic minorities in Turkey are also engaged in similar political manoeuvres. In fact, they have rational reasons to do so. The EU has recently declined the use of the minority discourse due to the escalation of minority problem in Europe, especially in the aftermath of the Yugoslavian dissolution process.

As could be clearly seen in the Accession Partnership Document, which maps out the requirements of Turkey in the integration process into the EU, the term 'minority' has been replaced with the term 'cultural diversity' in order to celebrate unity in diversity. Corresponding to some threats and practical needs within the Western European context, the discursive shift from 'minority' to 'cultural diversity' also has its reasons peculiar to the Turkish context in which the use of the term 'minority' has the risk of provoking certain groups in one way or another.

During his visit, he caused a major uproar in Turkey due to the articulation of the word 'minority' referring to various ethnic groups in Turkey, particularly the Kurds. The reason for such a reaction was that the term 'minority' only corresponds to the non-Muslim groups such as Armenians, Jews and Greeks defined as such in the Lausanne Treaty of Then the finalized version of the Accession Partnership Document included broadcasting and education rights for the Kurds, abolition of the death penalty, greater freedom of expression, and reform of the military-dominated National Security Council.

What was striking this time was the fact that the term 'minority', as stated before, was not used to refer to the problems of ethnic groups. What was emphasized in the text was cultural diversity, but not the term 'minorities'. Parallel with the discursive shift from 'minority discourse' to 'cultural diversity', the rising currency of the understanding of the 'Europe of Regions' has also made an impact on the management of political, economic and social disparities with regard to less-developed regions.

Final project for Creativity and Diversity in American Culture

Many Kurds, for instance, are attracted by the notion of a 'Europe of Regions' capable of providing the context for political accommodation between the Turkish. Republic and the Kurds. Consequently, ethnic group associations in Turkey have already abandoned minority politics in the face of the currently changing political discourse in the West. The Helsinki summit has led to the moderation of the official political discourse in Turkey regarding the recognition of cultural and ethnic diversity.

Democracy is the right of both the Turk and Kurd. We cannot transport Turkey into a new era with a nation offended by the state, with a system that views the society as a threat, with a bureaucracy that belittles the citizen, with a republic that ousts the individual, and with a political system that is impotent in the face of these adversities.

They were rather skeptical to such democratic attempts in the sense that such attempts could "tear apart the mosaic of Turkish society. On 19 March , the Turkish Government declared the National Program stressing that "the official language and the formal education language of the Republic of Turkey is Turkish. This, however, does not prohibit the free usage of different languages, dialects and tongues by Turkish citizens in their daily lives. This freedom may not be abused for the purposes of separatism and division. Both the Accession Partnership Document and the National Program encouraged the foundation of further civil society organizations as well as the ethnic groups in Turkey to vocalize their search for identities.

The upsurge of the civic formations outside the Turkish State, social movements,. These were significant indicators of the development of an autonomous civil society. Kurds, Alevis, Circassians, Armenians, and Assyrians are some of these groups vocalizing their concerns before the European Union bodies. For instance, the representatives of major Alevi and Circassian Associations respectively had meetings with Karen Fogg, the representative of the European Union delegation in Ankara 20th June and 6th November These two meetings caused great speculations in the media and attracted firm criticisms from the official bodies in Turkey.

It was also argued that the Helsinki decision was very decisive in turning the Kurdish minority and other ethnic groups into being more incorporative with the Turkish political system, and in making ethnic groups raise their concerns to the EU delegation in search for democratization in many respects. These are the signs in Turkey that some political actors within the state apparatus have demonstrated their willingness towards the recognition of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity; that minority claims are no longer predominantly considered to be a threat to national security , but also a quest for justice by at least a part of the political and military establishment; and that ethnic groups in general have gone through a discursive shift from 'minority discourse' to 'diversity discourse'.

Some of the state actors and several ethnic groups have also implicitly and explicitly expressed their approval of the Kymlickan position 'unity-in-diversity'. Thus, there seems to be a direct link between the discursive shifts of the European Union and those of Turkey. Nevertheless, I should point out that, in this article I have specifically discussed the Kymlickan position with respect to both Turkey and the EU. Besides, this article tried to emphasize that there are some evidences indicating the willingness among the Turkish political establishment to divert from the security discourse in decoding minority claims.

Andrews Peter A. Billig Michael, Banal Nationalism. Londres, Sage, Eriksen Thomas H. Fine Robert, "Benign Nationalism? Tauris, Kaya Ayhan, Sicher in Kreuzberg. Landau Jacob M. Robertson Roland, Globalization.

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White Jenny B. Politics, Seattle, University of Washington Press, Yavuz Hakan M. Young Iris Marion, "A critique of integration as the remedy for segregation,". Education, , pp. The leaders of the movement have expressed their willingness to incorporate themselves with the western way of life without setting up a challenge to the Christian West. They see no problem in identifying themselves with hyphenated identities such as French-Turkish-Muslims.

His assumption is that global flows strengthen local movements. Roland Robertson, Globalization. Thomas Eriksen makes a distinction between state controlled 'formal nationalism' and societal 'informal nationalism', which is considered to be both popular and spontaneous. Londres, Sage, calls this form of nationalism 'banal nationalism', which is embedded into the routines of daily life. The latent banal nationalism is everywhere in Turkey. For further. Bora, M. See Yael Navaro-Yashin, op. The bodies of four people were found in the car : a parliamentarian, Istanbul's former vice-head of police, a pan-Turkist mafia leader, and a prostitute with a false identity card.

All died except the parliamenterian. This accident was the proof that politicians and the police had relations with the mafia.

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This accident brought about heated discussions about the existence of a 'deep state' beyond the limits of the actual Turkish state apparatus. See, Yael Navaro-Yashin, op. The police were remarkably slow in taking action, and the rumour soon spread that the local police post might have been involved in the terrorist attacks. The day after, thousands of Alevi people from the Gazi neighbourhood went on to the streets to protest about the murder.

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Hanging Together: Unity and Diversity in American Culture Hanging Together: Unity and Diversity in American Culture
Hanging Together: Unity and Diversity in American Culture Hanging Together: Unity and Diversity in American Culture
Hanging Together: Unity and Diversity in American Culture Hanging Together: Unity and Diversity in American Culture
Hanging Together: Unity and Diversity in American Culture Hanging Together: Unity and Diversity in American Culture
Hanging Together: Unity and Diversity in American Culture Hanging Together: Unity and Diversity in American Culture
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