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Multi-Culturalism. An American Case . Todd Holden. Professor Mediated Sociology Department of Multi-Cultural Societies Graduate School of International Cultural Studies . For Further Review. Find this presentation on my web site :

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multi culturalism


An American Case

todd holden

Todd Holden


Mediated Sociology

Department of Multi-Cultural Societies

Graduate School of International Cultural Studies

for further review
For Further Review
  • Find this presentation on my web site:
  • Also check out various sites related to this presentation:
    • About Multiculturalism
    • About the U.S. Constitution
      • Especially the 14th Amendment
    • About Race Relations (particularly in the United States)
    • About the Movie we will see
racial struggle and harmony
Racial Struggle and Harmony
  • In these two lectures we will look at the issue of multi-culturalism in one country (America).
  • We will see the issue in its original form – ethnicity
    • In particular the struggle between ethnic groups over their perceived difference
about multi culturalism
About Multi-culturalism
  • A wide, deep topic
  • In part, emerged in reaction to the idea that societies like America were “melting pots” that tended to merge groups
    • Thus denying their difference(s)
  • Also, assisted by “Post-Colonial” Theory and the greater emphasis on “Identity”
rooted in american history
Rooted in American History
  • African Americans (once called “Negroes” then called “Blacks”)
  • Brought forcefully from Africa as slaves
  • To work on plantations as forced labor
rooted in american history7
Rooted in American History
  • A “civil war” was fought in which the southern states tried to break away from the United States “union” of states
    • Aim: to preserve their slave-based agricultural way of life which the North was seeking to abolish
    • Until Viet Nam, it was the bloodiest of all American wars.
    • Ultimately the North “won” but the divisions between the 2 regions and their ways of life remained for over 100 years.
understanding racial division through cinema
Understanding Racial Division through Cinema
  • In this movie, Remember the Titans, a (semi-) true story is told about a high school in America in 1971.
  • The school was in Virginia, a state on the border between North and South.
  • The time was during “desegregation”
understanding desegregation
Understanding Desegregation
  • In the U.S. Constitution, the 14th Amendment (after the Civil War) specifies that there will be “equal protection of the laws”
    • This means, for instance, that if one (white) student goes to a school with particular resources, then another (black) student should be able to have the same resources.
    • One problem: in a public school (which receives its money from local taxes), schools in black areas may have less money
      • Due to less taxes
      • This, in turn, is based on residents who make less money…
      • Because of past racial discrimination that led to less highly paying jobs
understanding desegregation10
Understanding Desegregation
  • Issue: how to redress this balance?
  • Solution: U.S. Federal (i.e. national) Courts insisted that local school districts create equality of resources and opportunities for students by busing students from one part of a city to another school in the city.
    • In this way the school became “integrated” with white and black (and later Hispanic and Asian) children from all over the city.
    • This solution, however, created much resistance and anger – especially among White families.
american football a national religion
American Football:A National “Religion”
  • The basic rules of American Football can be found here
  • There are those who view football as a religion, in terms of its place in society
  • It certainly has many martial (military) elements, as is clear from the movie we will see
remember the titans key questions
Remember the Titans:Key Questions
  • What is the situation that the coaches – Yoest and Boone – face?
    • What reasons lie behind this situation?
  • How do they resolve this situation?
  • Do the coaches manage to get along in the movie?
    • Think of examples in which they distrust one another or show evidence of conflict.
    • Think of examples in which they support one another or show evidence of harmony
remember the titans further key questions
Remember the Titans:Further Key Questions
  • How do the players get along with one another?
    • Think of concrete examples of conflict
    • Think of examples in which conflict is avoided or else defused
  • What are situations that lead to players bonding?
  • How do the players show evidence of bonding?
  • Do you think that the coaches and players are selfless? Or are they acting for themselves?
    • Think of some examples for your opinion
remember the titans key words
Remember the Titans:Key Words
  • Black Animals
  • Little Friends
  • “Coach Coon”
  • Soul power
  • “Your people”
  • Your Momma
  • Monkey, Jungle Bunny
  • Trust in the Lord
  • Knock the chocolate out of folks
remember the titans key symbols
Remember the Titans:Key Symbols
  • “Who’s Your Daddy?”
  • Gettysberg
  • Brick
  • Banana
  • Seventies Music
  • “Soul” shake
  • Team Dance
music in the movie
Music in the Movie

Generally: The music of the 60s and 70s used words and music to explain the changes occurring in the society

Question: In what ways is the music used to explain the situations in the film?

  • If you access the lyrics on line, can you find connections between the situations in the movies and the music
music in the movie17
Music in the Movie
  • I Heard it Through the Grapevine
  • Express Yourself
  • Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
  • Spirit in the Sky
  • It’s a Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
  • Spill the Wine
  • Fire and Rain
music in the movie18
Music in the Movie
  • (Na, Na, Na, Na, Hey, Hey) Goodbye
  • Time
  • The Way You Do the Things You Do
  • (Want to Take you) Higher
  • I’m Your Venus
  • Peace Train
  • Long, Cool Woman in a Black Dress
  • Up Around the Bend
key sentences
Key Sentences
  • “All the head coaches in this city are white, we had to give them something…”
  • “I’m not Jesus Christ or Martin Luther King, I’m a football coach.”
  • “This is no democracy, this is a dictatorship. I am the law.”
  • “Attitude reflect(s) leadership, captain.”
  • “50,000 men died on this field… fighting the same fight we are fighting today.”
  • “Hatred destroyed my family… listen and take a lesson from the dead.”
key sentences20
Key Sentences
  • “Camp over now… we’re back to the real world.”
  • “Nothing comes between us… nothing tears us apart.”
  • “You ain’t doing these boys a favor by patronizing them… you’re crippling them. Crippling them for life.”
  • “Sooner or later a man has to pick sides.”
  • “I’m sorry for what happened to your daughter, but maybe you got a taste of what my girls go through.”
key sentences21
Key Sentences
  • “I was afraid of you, Julius… I only saw what I was afraid of. But you are my brother.”
  • “Everything is not just about winning and losing…”
  • “I am a winner. I am not going to lose.”
  • “Now is not the time to be proud.”
  • “You’ve taught the city how to trust a man for his soul not for how he looks.”
viewing the movie seeking to understand multi culturalism
Viewing the Movie, Seeking to Understand Multi-culturalism
  • Is it possible to have a multi-cultural (ethnic) society?
  • Is it better to strive for a unitary society where everyone shares one space, one way of doing?
  • Is cultural understanding the road to community?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to mutual understanding?
viewing the movie seeking to understand multi culturalism23
Viewing the Movie, Seeking to Understand Multi-culturalism
  • Is this a story of:
    • multi-cultural society?
    • America?
    • Or just a team?
  • In other words is the ritual bonding just about what happens in a team sport or was it specific to this situation?
applied to japan
Applied to Japan
  • Are these sorts of questions relevant to your country?
  • Are there any of the multi-cultural issues from this movie that we can see in contemporary Japan?
    • Or are these all an individualized part of American society?
understanding society through media
Understanding Society through Media
  • This is what I do in this kouza.
  • Look at the values and ideas that are presented in the text of media
    • Movies, for example
  • Also try to pull back from the media and look at the social context that creates the media content
    • What values can we see in that world that creates that way of communicating
understanding society through media26
Understanding Societythrough Media
  • So, for example, we can look at the role of cell phones in a society – and what their use in the society tells us about that society
  • Also, we can study weblogs or photoblogs and think about their content; and what the values in that content reveals to us
  • So, too, TV food shows, advertisements and sporting events.
concluding about this work
Concluding about this Work
  • It is among the most challenging and exciting ways to study society (what we call “sociology”) and culture (what we call “anthropology”).
  • I hope you will think about pursuing this kind of work in the future;
  • And if you do, I hope you will consider coming to study with us in the Department of Multi-cultural Societies