Talk:Melting pot

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Merge into assimilate[edit]

Currently, assimilation points to melting pot and assimilate is a separate article on the Borg. I think there should be an article named "assimilation" with "assimilate" and "melting pot" pointing to it. The article on the borg could be its own article. Maybe "assimilation (star trek)" ?

In a broad sense, to assimilate means: "to render similar" "to bring to resemblance or conformity".

Assimilation has various meanings too. We can speak of 1) the assimilation of an individual through voluntary immigration or 2) the assimilation of an entire people by another one, typically in a position of power and numerical superiority. We can speak of cultural assimilation and linguistic assimilation. We can also speak of a person assimilating new knowledge or the conversion of nutriment into the fluid or solid substance of the body, by the processes of digestion and absorption.

There is a lot to develop.

Any objection to this move? Mathieugp 03:30, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Redirecting assimilation to melting pot is really a silly thing to do. Assimilation absolutely needs a disambiguation page because there are also assimilation (biology) and assimilation (linguistics). Or have they already been taken care of? <KF> 11:27, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I second this suggestion. I thought it was odd when a link from assimilation took me to melting pot. Took me a moment to understand why.Bkonrad 13:22, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Ok, so if I recap, we would have an assimilation disambiguation page with a definition and links to assimilation (biology), assimilation (linguistics), assimilation (sociology), assimilation (star trek) ? Mathieugp 15:01, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I think the link to assimilation (sociology) can point to this article, e.g., assimilation (sociology). Bkonrad 16:51, 4 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Less Americanized[edit]

I know the term "melting pot" is associated with the U.S., but nowadays it has applications in every developed society. That being the case, I just made some edits and made the article less America-specific. you shouldnt say that it is clearly american and nothing else.

Why assume that America is the "ideal republic". A lot of people would disagree with that assessment.JohnC (talk) 05:07, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Maybe I'm just misinterpreting something, but the reason it looks that way to you is probably because the term for a cultural melting pot was coined and evolutionized in the United States. It's a matter of viewpointRodiggidy (talk) 17:38, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

The term was originated in the USA, apparently. But it is a general term now. The article should clearly distinguish between history, usage in the USA and elsewhere, and general comments.Royalcourtier (talk) 05:53, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

Americanize not divide[edit]

I'm for immigration and acceptance of new comers wish to be americans. but I dont like pluralism or multi-culti liberals who racialize or divide us for their gain. It's against what I stand for. I'm a 45 years old white man born and raised in the USA. America had to get a melting pot to accept and merge all of its different people into not one race but one nation. The United States of America. I won't put up with p-c crowd insane pleed not to asimilate asians or latinos, cause they lose the right to have a religion, culture or language. So? We have freedom of religion for starters, millions of peeple in america live like their ancestors did, but call themselves americans first and foremost. Enuogh of this tossed salad or meltin' pot talk. Or a pizza or sub sandwich talk. We come in colors, shapes or sizes anyway. Not all americans are alike. We focus on similarity and what makes us americans not the p-c weapon to hate, divide or discriminate. That's why I'm not for affirmative action, the use of the race for job hiring or college admission is odious and a product of the 60s when the law had to step in to stop discrimination. Now what it stands for the majority of people, white americans, is they get left out or not hired. Why a latino or asian, on their way to be american, are said 'people of color'? I'm sure they look different, from other lands, don't speak english, and this hocky dory stuff on need to integrate into american society. Then why throw away the united common majority culture in favor of a silly, messy, doomed to fail, multicultureism? Look we are americans not white people or black people or brown people, and lets not get into whos asian american or arab american or native american anymore. the article said how we never overdo the irish american, italian american or polish american thing. we only can accept so many people, & dont let the left make race or culture an issue. this is whats wrong with illegal imigration or culture tolerance. we need borders as much we need workers. we need to band together, in a melting pot or not. - signed, open-minded conservative

The US has never had one single unified culture. I can go to any of the 50 states and fully expect cultural differences. If anything, there has been increased cultural homogenization taking place, with local culture supplanted by generic corporate culture. Why is it that people get upset about Cinco de Mayo, but have no problem with Saint Patrick's Day or a Sons of Norway Parade? We can focus on both similarity and differences. People have the right to live their lives as they see fit. Forcing people to "assimilate" raises problems - assimilate to what? Should the people of Georgia be assimilated to ne just like the people of Wisconsin? Should the people of Wisconsin be assimilated to ne just like the people of Georgia?--RLent (talk) 18:35, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Melting Pot=Assimilation?[edit]

I question the assertion that the "melting pot" metaphor - at least, the popular American version - describes an ideal of assimilation for immigrants, as stated in this article (although I've certainly heard multiculturalist critics make the same claim elsewhere). I know when I was taught about it (in 5th grade social science in an American elementary school), the idea was not that immigrants should "shed their native cultures and become absorbed into the ways of their host society." Although immigrants coming to think of themselves primarily as Americans, and adopt some American customs, was part of it, there was more emphasis on the opposite idea - the idea that customs brought by immigrants would be adopted by other Americans, and become mainstream. It's about the host society being changed by immigrants, as much as immigrants changing themselves to fit into the host society. The Schoolhouse Rock song seems to support this view, with lines like "They brought the country's customs" and "How great to be American/And something else as well." Has anyone else understood the metaphor in this way? 05:51, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

I just tagged the article for POV for this same reason.
My understanding of the "melting pot" is that it brings together different cultures and practices, facilitates an exchange of ideas, and allows the society to learn from each sub-group. The result is, ideologically, a better society due to the expanded "marketplace of ideas". Although it is true that this fusion of ethnic groups leads to a more homogeneous society, I feel that the definition focuses too much on what is lost and not enough on what is gained. Assimilation, in my understanding, is not an equivalent of the "melting pot" but a totally different option. It invovles a dominate culture within which subordinate cultures learn to submit to the dominate culture.
Being biased toward the melting pot ideal, I'd like to get more input before I (or anyone else, actually) revise the article. LilianPhoebs 22:51, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
More than anything this article probably needs book citations, especially now that the very definition of "melting pot" seems to vary according to different schools of thought. Unfortunately not being a sociologist I cannot provide the citations myself. Eldar 17:22, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
The dictionary definition (Webster, online) shows that 'melting pot' is not the same thing as assimilation:
  • 1 a : a place where a variety of races, cultures, or individuals assimilate into a cohesive whole b : the population of such a place
  • 2 : a process of blending that often results in invigoration or novelty
In contrast, the relevant assimilate definition is "to absorb into the culture or mores of a population or group". This seems to agree with the description of 'mutual change' described by the IP user above.
Antonrojo 12:42, 16 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree w. LilianPhoebs. "Assimilation" and "melting pot" should point to each other but should not be equated with each other. Has anyone thought of a way of incorporating the WP article's arguably NPOV assertion that in general US society "pays homage to its immigrant roots at the same time it confronts complex and deeply ingrained ethnic and racial divisions?" -- 22:12, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that's NPOV so much as a vague statement and an example of WP:AWW. Who 'pays homage' and how? Colorful language such as this, while rampant in most history textbooks, doesn't belong in wiki articles. Antonrojo 12:42, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

-- 21:08, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

I think this is a good source to give a look... "Immigrants Shunning Idea of Assimilation"

To deal with the POV assertion that 'melting pot' implies integration into the dominant culture, I've reworked relevant sections of the article and removed the POV tag. Antonrojo 22:54, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

I want to suggest material on the melting pot as metaphor should be added to the article. It is common for people today to think 'melting pot' refers to cooking, but it more likely refers to metallurgy. Most people lack understanding of metallurgy common in the time the term was coined. One possible metaphor with smelting is how several dissimilar metals are smelted together, not to form a mixed substance, but to form a metal with completely different, new properties, usually stronger or more desirable than any of the constituents. I do not see how a reader can understand the term without knowledge of its metaphorical origin and the processes involved, which touch on the debate about assimilation and the various ideas of how people "merge" into a culture. Folkstreamer (talk) 21:54, 16 February 2009 (UTC)


I don't want to put this up for article creation yet, but it seems like 'assimiliationist' could be its own article from here, and a passing mention could be made from melting pot. Maybe one of the disambiguation pages from assimilation covers this point, but seems to me there's a lot to be said on the topic, especially the links to affirmative action and such. Or maybe the links just need to be made a bit clearer...? Archtemplar 05:21, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the necessity of a disambiguation page, never the less I will stress that assimilation in culture is used as a methafor fo assimilation of nutrient from food. The idea is exactly that a culture can and have to absorbe another culture's behaviors. Just a remark in term of history, the melting pot has been developed as a political project betweeb 1920 and 1930 and in that period the idea of universalism was very strong. The universalism of that period in Western conutries was based upon evolutionism, i.e. western culture was superior and has the duty to civilize other. So, yes the melting pot was based on the idea of melt something but not the WASP culture. As reference I'll suggest H. Bhabha, the location of culture, Routledge, 1994 and I'll also suggest a link to Postcolonial theory page and the studies of Gilroy. Hope this can help Violax

Lyrics are Copyright violation[edit]

I have removed the lyrics, as they are a copyright violation, and replaced them with a link to the lyrics. --BRIAN0918 18:57, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Salad bowl[edit]

I remember reading the term "salad bowl" in the 1970s as a synonym of multiculturalism, as "melting pot" associates with assimilation. However, it never caught on.

Well to some extend it did, if you look in just about any sociological or anthroloplogical reference book, it is mention how the new goal of American society is the Salad bowl, how it is the most humane ideology and how it has replaced the melting pot. The problem is that most poeple stop learning bout these ideologies in college and probably havn't look at a Antrhopology textbook since, thus still beleiving in the melting pot idea. Regards, Signaturebrendel 19:30, 30 June 2006 (UTC)


Statements such as the one contending that the melting pot metiphor is"largely disregared by most modern sociologists as outdated" or the one opining that the salad bowel of multiculturalism is "the goal for America as seen by most prominent sociologists", in both cases without any substantiation tend to identify a polemic for what it is. Who make up the cadre that includes "most prominent sociologists"? When did modern sociologists vote out the melting pot and vote in the salad bowl? Was there a referendum? A poll? Nonsense and non-scholarship.

Well, speaking of "melting pots" and "salad bowls", there's also the "pizza" concept, which, I think the article kind of does mention (without actually calling it the pizza-concept), where the ingredients are visible (to the naked eye), yet form an inseparable unit. However, as has been mentioned here, all concepts are "in the eye of the beholder" and I am afraid different people might interpret them in different ways. In this respect, the whole issue is more a battle of words and does not really help solve the overall issue. What it does do, at least, is to get people thinking about the whole problem.Crucible the crucible, by aurthur millar was not written in 1908 and was based on a puritan experience of america, not the immigrant integration of New York during the 19th and early 20th centruies. the oragin of the term is most often attributed to political cartoonists.

That's correct and I fixed the reference. If you have sources for an alternate origin of the term, you might add it here or to the article. Antonrojo 20:40, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Canada previously a melting pot?[edit]

This article implies that for a long time Canada was a melting pot and is just recently adopting multiculturalism. This is vastly untrue. Canada, as I see it, has been supporting multiculturalism for far longer than this. And to be lumped together with the policies of Britain and Australia? How absurd!

Zippanova 09:03, 21 February 2007 (UTC)


I propose we add a "Mexico" section to this article, given that Mexico has been considered a melting pot by many, including the famous Jose Vasconcelos, in which he explicitly considers Mexico to be the melting pot of the world, where Mexicans have genetic origins that can be traced back to all parts of the world (like Amerindians, Spanish settlers, Filipino laborers, African slaves, and immigrants like Lebanese, Chinese, Italian, French, etc.). In any given case I consider the United States to be a salad bowl because most Americans are not mixed race, as opposed to most Mexicans who are. The races have been kept seperate in the U.S., while they have mostly merged in Mexico. So PLEASE, someone any suggestions? If not, then I'll add it myself (sourced, of course).--Fernirm (talk) 03:53, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

  • By all means be bold and add Mexico yourself. Eldar (talk) 21:41, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

The above writer obviously watches no Mexican television, where the stars of the soap operas and most of the news anchors look like they just flew in from Madrid. POOR Mexicans are mixed race. The upper class would be horrified if you told them they were mixed race. MarkinBoston (talk) 18:41, 25 September 2012 (UTC)

^Your argument is invalid, soap operas are not really based on reality, and have a tendency to perpetuate white cultural standards of beauty. However, don't discount the whole nation just because the ten percent of rich white Mexicans were more insulated from mainstream culture. Judging a whole nation by its smallest margin, rather than largest is rather prejudiced and unfair to the nation. Some white Mexicans are racist, and others are not, don't stereotype everybody. It would like calling everyone in the Southern portion of the United States a bunch of backwards racists, even though there people like that, not all of them are. About 70 percent percent of Mexicans are mestizo, and have a rich culture based on Spanish, and Native American traditions. Our religion may be European, but the Virgen of Guadalupe that many Mexicans venerate, is rumored to be a former Native American goddess. Our cuisine is one of the last remnants of indigenous expression. Tamales, tacos, nopalitos, and guacamole are definitely not part of Spanish cuisine, but do incorporate Old World ingredients like beef, or lamb. That's what makes our food, and ways rather unique. We speak Spanish, but some of our words have indigenous origins, and some of our expressions are distinct from Spain and the rest Latin America.

I will agree with the statement that the previous user before you has made, the Americans made no effort in including the Native peoples into their culture. The Spanish may have considered the Indians to be of a lesser race, but did not seek out to exterminate the Indian completely (although criminals like Columbus went against the wishes of Queen Isabella) like the Americans did with their local tribes. The one drop rule persists in the states to the point that people of mixed race have to identify with the darkest colored group. Indians in the states that are 1/2, or 1/4 are still considered Indian, and culturally usually remain Indian, because of a long history of segregation. Mexican mestizos were allowed to blossom into a diverse culture that included Western and Indian traditions, we can claim heritage to both, rather than having to deny one over the other. We can claim being a melting pot literally, since there are many mixed races, and culturally. Sure being called an Indian is an insult, but I believe that comes from misinformation, and internalized racism from the old Spanish peninsulares. Any educated Mexican know that some of the Indians were quite civilized, sophisticated, and intelligent. The Mexicas built aqueducts in a city in the middle of a lake for crying out loud, but some Mexicans are completely unaware of that history. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dalex4991 (talkcontribs) 18:01, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

Removing Increasing segregation section[edit]

This section has no secondary sourcing on which to support it's inclusion in the article. Unless some secondary sources can be produced which indicate this is an important topic as it relates to Melting pot it is wp:undue. I'll remove the section in due course if robust sourcing cannot be provided. aprock (talk) 21:27, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Ok, I'll be removing this presently. aprock (talk) 21:49, 15 August 2011 (UTC)


I see no evidence that the term 'melting pot' is used in Afghanistan. The fact that different ethnic groups may be mixing has nothing to do with the term itself. Unless someone can come up with a citation for Afghans using the precise term, I'm taking down the section. MarkinBoston (talk) 01:07, 29 August 2012 (UTC)


People, I believe that a perfect example of a melting por of cultures has been left out and gone entirely unmentioned; Argentina was and is the second largest case in america after the us, being 97% of its population descendant from foreign migrants, as it recieved some 6 million migrants between the years 1870-1914, being its previous population no more than 200.000 people, thus making it (alltough in lesser quantity) the biggest american melting point by percentage. Consequently I think it should figure on the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mariano Menéndez (talkcontribs) 00:15, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

ALL NATIONS IN THE WORLD ARE MELTING POTS There is no exception. All nations in the World are melting pots from different ethinc groups. If we talk about the Englishmen, they are traditionally a melting pot of Angles, Saxons, Celts, Italos, Jutes, Danish, French (later millions of immigrants from former British colonies were added)...French are traditionally a melting pot of Celts (Gallic), Italos, Franks, Basques (later millions of immigrants from former French colonies were added) etc, etc.

In America, there is clearly a melting pot under the Anglo-American culture which is assimilating millions of people from all the World. White Americans can be considered, like the Afrikaners in South Africa, a Germanic ethnicity (English, Afrikaners, Dutch, Germans, Flemish, Americans, Swedish, Norwegian...) Black Americans are even more properly a melting pot; first, they are a melting pot of different African ethnic groups who have been so much mixed and assimilated that the overwhelming majority of "Afro-Americans" cannot even say from what country their ancestors came from so they don´t say "Yoruba-American", or "Zulu-American" but just "Afro-American" which is not an ethnicity. In fact, 20% of genes of "Afro-Americans" are white, so the English tribe is part of the Black American melting pot as much as any African tribe (like the Yoruba), or more because the language and religion of Black Americans is closer to the English than to the Yoruba.-- (talk) 18:59, 15 July 2013 (UTC)


The subsections under "Melting pot and cultural pluralism" need references. (talk) 23:16, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

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