The Color of Culture: Post-racial and Post-ethnic Considerations in the United States

Dr. Sandra Lopez-Rocha
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The shifts in the population composition in the United States have created difficulties throughout history in terms of its definition and measurement. Such changes have affected the way in which the academic and official discourse of the categorization of the population is developed, in particular with the observance of a multi-ethnic or multi-racial population. This phenomenon has promoted the reexamination of the concept of "race" while integrating the concept of "ethnicity." The relationship of race and ethnicity has proven to have little consensus along the years and from one context to another.

The basic idea of a post-racial or post-ethnic debate is based on the degree of importance and saliency of race and ethnicity themselves within the various contexts of the society and the relations between individuals. For instance, if we consider that racial differences are becoming "less important" we are arguing for a post-racial stand, whereas if we believe that it is ethnic differences that are becoming "less significant" we are then pursuing a post-ethnic argument. This way of looking at the debate, although a simplified version of the postulates, aids in the understanding of the two positions, which constitute the focus of discussion in this paper.

Keywords: Multiculturalism, Ethnicity, Race, Ethnic Groups, Diversity
Stream: Ethnicity, Difference, Identity
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Color of Culture, The

Dr. Sandra Lopez-Rocha

Researcher, Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, University of Bristol
Bristol, UK

Dr. Lopez-Rocha is a cultural anthropologist, researcher, teacher trainer, and language instructor. Her research has been oriented towards intercultural communication, interactions, and issues of multiculturalism in the language classroom. Dr. Lopez-Rocha has designed intercultural programs for diverse and specific audiences, including American, Egyptian, Eastern European, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Latin American cultures. Her academic experience includes instructional and curriculum design in the context of intercultural communication, teacher training, and language instruction. Dr. Lopez-Rocha is currently concentrated on her research at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom.

Ref: H06P0524