Salad bowl (cultural idea)
The salad bowl concept suggests that the integration of the many different cultures of United States residents combine like a salad, as opposed to the more traditional notion of a cultural melting pot. New York City can be considered as being a "salad bowl". In Canada this concept is more commonly known as the cultural mosaic. An example of the European version of the salad bowl concept can be seen in its policy regarding the EU programme "integration of non-European nationals", which finances and promotes integration initiatives targeting those who are not members of the EU25. This project aims to encourage dialogue in civil society, develop integration models, and spread and highlight the best initiatives regarding integration. In the salad bowl model, different American cultures are brought together—like salad ingredients—but do not form together into a single homogeneous culture; each culture keeps its own distinct qualities. This idea proposes a society of many individual cultures, since the latter suggests that ethnic groups may be unable to preserve their heritage.
The salad bowl idea in practice has its supporters and detractors. Supporters argue that being "American" does not inherently tie a person to a single culture, though rather to citizenship and loyalty to the United States. Thus, one does not need to abandon their cultural heritage in order to be considered "American". Critics tend to oppose the idea in tandem with other critiques on multiculturalism, saying that America needs to have a common culture in order to preserve a common national identity.
- Lind, Michael. The Next American Nation: The New Nationalism and the Fourth American Revolution. 1996
- Schmidt, Alvin J. The Menace of Multiculturalism: Trojan Horse in America. 1997
- Huntington, Samuel P. Who Are We?: The Challenges to America's National Identity. 2005
- Chua, Amy. Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance and Why They Fall. 2007
- Kolb, Eva. The Evolution of New York City's Multiculturalism: Melting Pot or Salad Bowl. 2009