Skip to main content

Beyond the Melting Pot

BEYOND THE MELTING POT

BEYOND THE MELTING POT (Glazer and Moynihan). In this 1963 work, subtitled The Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Irish of New York City, the sociologists Nathan Glazer and Daniel Patrick Moynihan sought to explain the persistence of ethnic affiliation in New York City, and by implication the United States, long after "distinctive language, customs, and culture" had been lost (p. 17). What impeded the absorption of ethnic groups into "a homogeneous American mass" (p. 20)? Material necessity wed to sentimental attachment, Glazer and Moynihan maintained—a combination of "history, family and feeling, interest, [and] formal organizational life" (p. 19).

In its day the book was praised for denying the inevitability and desirability of cultural homogenization and for regarding ethnicity as a historical, hence a changing, artifact—staples of contemporary multiculturalism. The book was criticized for allegedly elevating ethnicity over class, for conflating ethnicity and race, and for maligning the African American family. Glazer and Moynihan had anticipated, if inadequately, the first two objections. The last raised the vexing problem of fact and value. Were the authors describing or evaluating African American institutions? Thus inadvertently Beyond the Melting Pot helped transform a subtle discussion about ethnic distinctions into a bald discourse about racial differences. As a result an undeniably progressive book became tainted with an aura of reaction.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Glazer, Nathan. We Are All Multiculturalists Now. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Glazer, Nathan, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Beyond the Melting Pot: The Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Irish of New York City. 2d ed. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1970. This second edition includes a noteworthy introduction written by Glazer ten years after he initially undertook the project.

Sollors, Werner, ed. Theories of Ethnicity: A Classical Reader. New York: New York University Press, 1996.

Jonathan M.Hansen

See alsoAfrican American Studies ; New York City ; Sociology .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Beyond the Melting Pot." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Oct. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Beyond the Melting Pot." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 22, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/beyond-melting-pot

"Beyond the Melting Pot." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved October 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/beyond-melting-pot

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.