American Particularism

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Particularism Through American Retail American culture teaches us particularism in many ways. One way is our clothing style through retail. It convinces people that they need to look a certain way in order to be acceptable in society. Diane Ravitch states in Multiculturalism Yes, Particularism No, "Particularists have no interest in extending American culture." They do not recognize the commonality. She further states "They do not appeal to the common good." Particularism can be both good and bad for several reasons. It can encourage one to make better, healthier choices in order to look similar to the sharp looking manikin in the store; however, it can also give people a false sense of identity and promote a measure of materialism. Particularism…show more content…
After all everyone wants to look like the manikin in the store window display. This is not reality. Abercrombie and Fitch, for example, displays wall to wall posters in their store of nearly perfect men and women modeling their clothing items. The models are extremely fit and attractive, promoting the idea that customers will look similar when they wear their brand. For instance, someone who is self-conscious about their weight may walk past the clothing store window and make themselves believe they will never be attractive or pretty because they do not look like the model in the store. In this scenario, Abercrombie and Fitch demonstrates negative particularism in the sense that one has to look like their models in order to be considered…show more content…
Whether it be about how toned and fit one is, how healthy a lifestyle they live, or how many name brand matching outfits they own, particularism is definitely the goal in the retail realm. It convinces us that we have to look a particular way in order to be popular, beautiful, and successful. Instead of encouraging us to look a specific way to be acceptable, we need to "listen to a diversity of voices" in order to grasp our culture (Ravich 69). People need to be encouraged to look their best by purchasing the best quality clothing they can afford. Not everyone can shop in the high-end clothing stores that feature all the 'beautiful people'. Multiculturalism needs to be the goal of the retail world, not particularism. As Oliver Goldsmith stated in National Prejudices, "But why need I suppose what is absolutely impossible?" Particularism is retail's crux; without it, customers would not become addicted to their brands, which ultimately yields ridiculous

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