Investigating Pluralism in the USA

Topic: Political Culture
Words: 390 Pages: 1

In political philosophy, the question of pluralism is considered one of the most challenging. There are various approaches to define pluralism based on different grounds. For example, Mouw and Griffioen identify three types of pluralism: associational, directional, and contextual plurality (Fu, 2021). Associational pluralism characterizes and defends the plurality of human associations within society. The directional type of pluralism distinguishes multiple spiritual directions, a plurality of confessions, and various views of life and sets of values, while contextual type refers to the diversity of cultural contexts (Fu, 2021). The illustrated types of pluralism describe contrasting contexts of living in a society, but altogether they create a coherent and complex vision.

Pluralism is the achievement and the positive response to diversity. Nowadays, the USA is becoming more pluralistic with its politics promoting diversity and exclusion. The position of viewing America as a “melting pot” is opposed to the promise to respect individuals’ peculiarities as long as immigrants comply with the general requirements of American citizenship. The Pluralism Project (2020) emphasizes that today the US society could boast of a range of achievements, such as a “tri-faith” campus for Jews, Muslims, and Christians, the interfaith coalitions to overcome the common issues of homelessness or hunger, the congregational partnership during various feasts and holidays. Hence, based on the rules of the First Amendment to the Constitution, pluralism in the USA already found its actualization in local practices and policies.

Ethnic enclaves play an essential part in establishing pluralism traditions in the US as they provide a safe place for newcomers for further successful assimilation into the society. I saw a “Chinatown” and some ethnic grocery stores, and it was a fascinating experience similar to visiting another country. In these places, people communicate in their native languages, often wear their traditional clothes, sell and buy the products and goods they were accustomed to sell and buy in their native countries.

The nature of pluralism is multidimensional, and political philosophers identify different types of pluralism contrasting on the basis of multiplicity. Today, the fights over the successful establishment of pluralism in the United States have delivered actual benefits: throughout the USA, we see interfaith coalitions and congregational partnership examples. In addition, there are a variety of ethnic enclaves and grocery stores, creating a comfort zone for minor cultural communities and preserving their original cultural heritage.


Fu, B. (2021). The politics of inclusive pluralism: A proposed foundation for religious freedom in a post-communist, democratic China. Pickwick Publications.

President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Pluralism Project at Harvard University. (2020). From diversity to pluralism. Web.

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