Can democracy and diversity be friends?
- September 28, 2012
- Jennifer Lee, sociology professor, is featured in Zocalo Public Square in September 2012
We tend to think that both democracy and diversity are good things; many of us even say that diversity is a strength. But others have argued that our polyglot nation is too big, too complex—simply too diverse—to boast a healthy and vibrant democracy. Zócalo editor and Center for Social Cohesion fellow Joe Mathews opened a Zócalo/Cal Humanities “Searching for Democracy” event by asking three social scholars and thinkers which side is right... University of California Irvine sociologist Jennifer Lee said that Americans have made some false assumptions about diversity. Diversity, she said, does not lead to political polarization. With the exception of certain hot-button issues like gay rights and abortion, Americans today are no more polarized than they were 40 years ago—even though they are much more diverse. But she said that America is not a post-racial nation, even though some Americans assume we have arrived at that point. Race matters—and it does so more profoundly for African Americans than any other group, despite the fact that we have an African American president.
For the full story, please visit http://zocalopublicsquare.org/thepublicsquare/2012/09/25/can-democracy-a....