The melting pot is a metaphor for a heterogeneous society becoming more homogeneous, the different elements "melting together" into a harmonious whole with a common culture. It is particularly used to describe the assimilation of immigrants to the United States; the melting-together metaphor was in use by the 1780s.
After 1970 the desirability of assimilation and the melting pot model was challenged by proponents of multiculturalism, who assert that cultural differences within society are valuable and should be preserved, proposing the alternative metaphor of the mosaic, salad bowl or "American Kaleidoscope" – different cultures mix, but remain distinct.
Read more about Melting Pot: Origins of The Term, United States, Melting Pot, Cultural Pluralism, Anglo-conformity, Multiculturalism, Use in Popular Culture, Quotations
Famous quotes related to melting pot:
“We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”
—Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.)