The International Ethnic Background of American Society

European Cultures
Joanna Wojdon, prof. UWr.
Number of hours: 
2h X 15 weeks = 30 hours (1 semester)

To present the ethnic composition of the contemprary American society, taking into consideration its historical background. To discuss the changing views on immigration and migrants from the point of view of sending and receiving societies and the migrants themselves. Improving the technique of writing short essays.


active participation, essay pertaining to particular ethnic group or groups and its (their) problems and ways of dealing with them


Ethnic composition of the American society and its changes. History of the American immigration and ethnic policy and their impact on the society.
Characteristics of the American ethnic groups: Afro-American, Hispanic, WASP, German, Italian, Irish, Jewish, Slavic, Scandinavian, Asian
Competition or co-operation? Models of inter-ethnic relations


Knows legal and customary principles of functioning of multiethnic American society, also in its political aspect.
Knows how the principles of American policy towards ethnic groups and immigrants have changed, taking into consideration the inter-relations between the administration and the public opinion.
Knows how the cultural communication within the American society (which is intercultural but with a strong binding feeling of national pride) proceeds.
Knows the ethnic stereotypes present within the American society and their consequences.
Characterizes the system of ethnic schools in the U.S. , its changing position and functions.
Knows regional distribution of ethnic groups in the USA, its determinants and consequences
Can analyze ethnic stereotypes and their consequences for the communication between different ethnic groups in the USA
Can point to the specific features of multiethnic American society, to its specificity if compared to the European societies, taking into consideration its origins within the context of historical processes that have shaped the American society.
Is aware of the importance of understanding the goals and content of communication between different ethnic groups, especially in the context of the realities of political life.
Stresses the role of constant and in-depth exploration of different ethnic groups, pointing to their historical mutability as a factor that prohibits formulation of constant rules of their mutual relations
Is convinced about the role of intercultural dialogue as an important factor for flexible functioning of civil society
Stresses the key importance for the political decision makers to be acquainted with the culture of the ethnic communities in order to formulate policy towards ethnic groups and migration processes in responsible way.