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Melting pot

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1. A container where substances are melted.

2. A term in social science and political science that describes a strategy to integrate and assimilate immigrants into mainstream society. The different cultures and values melt together to an integrated society.

The melting pot approach can result in a homogenous society with a strong common sense. However, problems can arise with this approach: Maintaining the own distinct culture by individuals is often under social pressure to assimilate into society. Also, the melting pot approach runs into problems in the case of groups of people who are not willing to integrate into mainstream society.

A typical example of a melting pot is the integration strategy of the United States of America.

A competing approach is multiculturalism. This approach is to some extent used in Canada.

The metaphor of the melting pot comes from Englishman Israel Zangwill[?]'s play The Melting Pot, which was first performed in Washington in 1908.



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