Multiculturalism, or many pockets of subculture

Russell Turpin
Fri, 19 Oct 2001 18:31:22 +0000

Sherry Listgarten writes:
>.. Is a single melting-pot even possible, or will there be natural pockets? 

Of course there will be pockets, protected by walls of
wealth, ideology, knowledge, age, ability, and even gender.
The country club is nothing like the barrio. FoRK is
defined, in part, by the relative digital literacy of its
members. Other subcultures are defined by knowledge of
other things; the high-brow literati still exist, even if
middle-brow folks no longer much care. There is an inside
subculture of pro-football. The military defines its own
subculture. The Amish preserve their ways. Etc.

>.. Are those pockets as "good" as cultures protected by some kind of 
>natural or artificial isolationism?

That is the sixty-four dollar question. A subcultures is
not a culture. Individuals typically have a foot in each
of several subcultures, but are comfortable in only one
culture. A culture, such as the late Aztec empire,
includes within it a set of unique subcultures.

Of course, the strong cultures likely have fewer and
more rigid subcultures than a multi-culture. Shirky's
cosmopolitan world is a broiling mass of myriad


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