It can come as no surprise that the ethnic makeup of the American population is rapidly changing. In this volume, John Francis Burke offers a "mestizo" theory of democracy and traces its implications for public policy. Mestizo, meaning "mixture," is a term from the Mexican socio-political experience. It represents a blend of indigenous, African, and Spanish genes and cultures in Latin America. This mixture is not a "melting pot" experience; rather, the influences of the different cultures remain identifiable but influence each other in dynamic ways. Burke analyzes democratic theory and multiculturalism to develop a model for cultivating a community that can deal effectively with its cultural diversity. He applies this model to official language(s), voting and participation, equal employment opportunity, housing, and free trade. Burke concludes that in the United States we are becoming mestizo whether we know it or not and whether we like it or not. By embracing this, we can forge a future together that will be greater than the sum of its parts.
JOHN FRANCIS BURKE is an associate professor of political science and chair of the department at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.
Dewey Decimal Classfication (DDC)