The American people are characterized by great cultural diversity. Although the country is diverse in general, there is a growing tendency for groups to homogenize with people like themselves. Joining a particular community that strives to preserve its integrity creates difficulties in acting dialectically with other communities and reconciling alien customs and traditions.
The evaluation of the population and demographics in Minneapolis and Saint Paul provides explicit information on existing racial and cultural fragmentation. Following this understanding, it can be revealed that there is great neighborhood diversity causing a number of problems correlated with adaptating to the dominate culture.
In particular, minority groups may have problems with maintaining their identity because of a potent impact of governmental policies dictating social and cultural norms.
The population of Minneapolis is about 400,000 people; about 65% are Whites, and the remaining 35% are primarily Asians, Hispanics, and African-Americans (Minneapolis City, Minnesota Statistics and Demographics n. p.). Obviously, being in minority is a real challenge for people because it is difficult to preserve customs and traditions when a different culture prevails.
Moreover, owing to the fact that the number of ethnic identities residing in this area exceeds the amount of 20, the chance of conflict emergence is increased. Similar percentage is present in Saint Paul where the dominating race is White people (Saint Paul City, Saint Paul Statistics and Demographics n. p.).
According to Frazier, people’s desire to express themselves through culture, history, and identity is natural; it seems to be one of the methods to maintain their nationalistic and historical roots. In All Consuming Patriotism, Frazier states, “I want to be real. I think a lot of us do. I feel like an idiot with my tears and shopping cart.
I want to participate, to do something – and shopping isn’t it” (41). Interpreting this phrase, the author provides the idea that people are under the influence of government agencies that dictate social and cultural standards through the media apparatus. Such policies prevent people from taking an active part in the fate of the United States.
The aforementioned policy of establishing cultural and social norms via the media apparatus imposes similarity. Consequently, problems occur when this type of policy is thrust on people whose cultural and historical background does not coincide with the generally accepted background (Miller 6).
The majority of groups are so engrossed in their culture that they often miss the salient traits of other cultures. Emergence of frictions among cultures cause problems with cross-cultural communication in the American society. Therefore, the media’s rhetoric negatively influences the relationship among different ethnic groups within a particular neighborhood.
It is natural that people who originate from a similar culture and who have similar roots are subconsciously subjected to identity. On the one hand, the formation of a nationalistic homogenous community increases patriotic awareness. On the other hand, cultural intrusion is not the best way to unite everyone within the neighborhood.
In addition to the problems of one’s affiliation with a particular group, there exist benefits as well. In particular, neighborhood diversity can contribute to growth and expansion of ethnic groups. The data presented in the citizen statistics reveal that the number of ethnic groups is great. At the same time, homogeneity is one of the conditions for harmonious co-existence of all cultures.
Despite the fact that certain groups prevail in number, minorities seem to be less likely to create independent identity groups. According to the statistics, nearly 250.000 people belong to White people.
The rest of the population is divided among African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asians, which involve Asian Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, and Korean (Minneapolis City, Minnesota Statistics and Demographics n. p.). The demographic situation in Saint Paul is similar to Minneapolis. Consequently, it is also distinguished by great cultural diversity (Saint Paul City, Saint Paul Statistics and Demographics n. p).
In conclusion, that there is great neighborhood diversity in cultural terms leading to a number of problems with adaptating to the dominant culture. Minority groups face problems with preserving their integrity due to a considerable influence of governmental polices establishing social and cultural norms.
The demographic information about Minneapolis and Saint Paul has disclosed that existing ethnic and racial fragmentations. Namely, neighboring groups with different cultural background strive to maintain their integrity; however, they face a number of difficulties while communicating with other groups and considering alien traditions.
Such difficulties are often neglected by the government that imposes its own rules and principles. In order to reconcile the frictions, it is necessary to introduce more effective strategies to regulate the relationships between the neighboring communities. Additionally, it will be necessary to minimize the influence of media apparatus on ethnic groups to remove the existing frictions.
Frazier, Ian. All Consuming Patriotism. Acting out Culture: Reading and Writing. Boston: Bedford, 2008. pp. 39-43
Miller, James, S. How We Believe: Introduction. Acting out Culture: Reading and Writing. Boston: Bedford, 2008. pp. 4-9.
Minneapolis City, Minnesota Statistics and Demographics. Area Connect, 2000. Web. http://minneapolis.areaconnect.com/statistics.htm
Saint Paul City, Saint Paul Statistics and Demographics. Area Connect, 2000. Web.