Two-Tiered Pluralism Model

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A Bumpy Ride on the Even Road: Still Separate and Unequal with
Pluralistic and Two-tiered Pluralistic Society in the United States

In order to illustrate the U.S. politics, especially in terms of racial and ethnic minority issues, many political models used as analytical tools to understand the political resources and opportunities of U.S. racial and ethnic groups in contemporary U.S. society had been proposed. Among these politically important models, two of the most fundamentally important are Pluralism and Two-tiered Pluralism (DeSipio, 2015: Week 2 Lectures; Shaw et. al., 2015). My thesis is that although both pluralism and two-tiered pluralism models’ strength is their ability to illustrate relationships between the majority and the
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al., 2015). In U.S. context, pluralism is often regarded as one of the hallmarks of America democracy. This is because in the United States, pluralism ensures the existence and maintenance of diverse group identities. It also implies that various groups in U.S. society have mutual respect for one another’s identity, a respect that allows minorities to express their own identity without suffering prejudice or hostility. In the United States, pluralism is thus more an ideal than a reality (Norman, 2015; Schaefer, 2000; Shaw et. al., 2015). Two-tiered pluralism, on the other hand, emphasizes the political and societal privileges accorded to the non-Hispanic White majority and the political and societal disadvantages suffered by the racial and ethnic minorities, of which the uneven political playing field is a consequence. Such so-called inequality of the United States today in politics and other instances has then made it more clear that two-tiered pluralism reflects more realistic analysis of U.S. racial and ethnic issues (DeSipio, 2015: Week 2-3 Lectures; Norman, 2015; Schaefer, 2000; Shaw et. al.,…show more content…
Among these instances, many of them are about the public policy issues and minority civic and electoral participation (Shaw et. al., 2015). One great example of two-tiered pluralism regarding the public policy issues of racial and ethnic minorities in the US history is the doctrine of separate but equal from the Plessy v. Ferguson case. In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson that state laws requiring “separate but equal” accommodations for African Americans were a “reasonable use” of state government power. In other words, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “separate but equal” facilities did not violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The ruling thus lent high judicial support to racial and ethnic discrimination and led to wider spread of the segregation between Whites and Blacks in the Southern United States. The great oppressive consequence from this was discrimination against African American minority from the socio-political opportunity to share the same facilities with the mainstream Whites, which in most of the cases the separate facilities for African Americans were inferior to those for Whites in actuality. The doctrine of “separate but equal” hence encourages two-tiered pluralism in U.S. as it privileged the non-Hispanic Whites over other racial and ethnic minority
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