Toppling the Melting Pot

Toppling the Melting Pot

Immigration and Multiculturalism in American Pragmatism
José-Antonio Orosco
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 10/17/2016
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-02274-5
Bookmark and Share

Other formats available:

Buy from Amazon


The catalyst for much of classical pragmatist political thought was the great waves of migration to the United States in the early twentieth century. José-Antonio Orosco examines the work of several pragmatist social thinkers, including John Dewey, W. E. B. Du Bois, Josiah Royce, and Jane Addams, regarding the challenges large-scale immigration brings to American democracy. Orosco argues that the ideas of the classical pragmatists can help us understand the ways in which immigrants might strengthen the cultural foundations of the United States in order to achieve a more deliberative and participatory democracy. Like earlier pragmatists, Orosco begins with a critique of the melting pot in favor of finding new ways to imagine the civic role of our immigrant population. He concludes that by applying the insights of American pragmatism, we can find guidance through controversial contemporary issues such as undocumented immigration, multicultural education, and racialized conceptions of citizenship.

Author Bio

José-Antonio Orosco is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Oregon State University in Corvallis. His main interests are in social and political philosophy with an emphasis on social movements and democratic theory, US American pragmatism, and Latin / Latin American thought. He has taught previously at the Universidad Latina de America in Morelia, Mexico, and at the National University of Rosario, in Rosario, Argentina. He is author of Cesar Chavez and the Common Sense of Nonviolence.


“The great waves of early 20th century migration to the U.S. were the catalyst for much of classical pragmatist political thought. Here, the challenges of large-scale immigration to American democracy are looked at through the lens of several social thinkers, including John Dewey, W. E. B. Du Bois, Josiah Royce, and Jane Addams.”

“An original and distinct contribution to the scholarship on immigration and how American philosophy has contributed to providing our society with resources to deal with it in ways that are proper to the country's political morality . . . an extremely timely book.”
 — Eduardo Mendieta, editor of Pragmatism, Nation, Race

“As we move forward, looking back could shed light on making the nation a more participatory democracy.”
 — Albuquerque Journal

“Orosco's book is an especially prescient resource for continued debate on immigration and pluralism in the United States. ”
 — The Pluralist

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents

1. Three Models of the Melting Pot
2. Cultural Pluralism and Principles of Pragmatist Solidarity
3. From Plymouth Rock to Ellis Island: Louis Adamic and Cultural Flourishing
4. W.E.B. Du Bois and the Black Cultural Contribution to US Deep Democracy
5. Josiah Royce’s Deliberative Democracy for Multicultural Conflict and Education
6. Aliens and Neighbors: Jane Addams and the Reframing of the Undocumented Immigration Debate
7. Cesar Chavez and the Pluralist Foundations of US American Democracy