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is a term used when smaller groups within a larger society maintain their unique cultural identities, and their values and practices are accepted by the wider culture. Cultural pluralism is often confused with Multiculturalism. Multiculturalism lacks the requirement for a dominate culture.
One example is the United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
which has a relative strong dominate culture which includes strong elements of nationalism, a sporting culture and an artistic culture. In a pluralist culture, unique groups not only co-exist side by side, but also consider qualities of other groups as traits worth having in the dominant culture. A successful pluralistic society will place strong expectations of integration on its members rather than expectations assimilation. A society that lacks a strong dominate culture can easily pass practicing cultural pluralism to multiculturalism without any intentional steps being taken by that society.
The existence of such institutions and practices are possible if the cultural communities are accepted by the larger society in a pluralist culture and sometimes require the protection of the law. Often the acceptance of a culture may require that the new culture remove some aspects of their culture which is incompatible with the laws or values of the dominate culture.
The idea of cultural pluralism in the United States has its roots in the transcendentalist movement and was developed by pragmatist
Pragmatist may refer to:*A person who subscribes to pragmatism, a field of philosophy*A person who subscribes to pragmaticism, Charles Sanders Peirce's post-1905 branch of philosophy...
philosophers such as William James
William James was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism...
and John Dewey
John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey was an important early developer of the philosophy of pragmatism and one of the founders of functional psychology...
, and later thinkers such as Horace Kallen
-Biography:Born in the then German Bernstadt, Silesia to Jacob David Kallen and Esther Rebecca , an Orthodox rabbi and his wife, Kallen came to the United States as a child in 1887. He studied philosophy at Harvard University where he was a student of George Santayana, earning his B.A. in 1903...
and Randolph Bourne
Randolph Silliman Bourne was a progressive writer and "leftist intellectual" born in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and a graduate of Columbia University...
. One of the most famous articulations of cultural pluralistic ideas can be found in Bourne's 1916 essay "Trans-National America" .