Salad bowl

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Mon Jan 14 17:15:50 UTC 2002

At 11:04 AM 1/14/02 -0500, you wrote:
>On Mon, 14 Jan 2002, Paul McFedries wrote:
>#The "salad bowl" metaphor is used to describe a multicultural society in
>#which each ethnic group maintains its own cultural identity rather than
>#being assimilated into a larger, common culture (the "melting pot").
>         [...]
>Whoever Paul was replying to (sorry) had said about the
> > "Melting pot" is a hot-metal metaphor, not a food
> >metaphor.  I am not sure what you mean by a metaphorical
> >"salad bowl."
>Most people are not familiar with hot-metal (industrial)
>imagery. I had always assumed that "melting pot" was
>culinary, without examining it closely. I'm not so familiar
>with the kitchen that I could say "there's no such thing in
>cooking", and I associated it with a stew or soup, or
>possibly a fondue (which does melt, as the name implies). I
>have a vague sense that the explanations of it that I'd seen
>also referred to cooking; maybe "flavors melting together."
>I suspect, though I can't prove it, that "salad bowl" was
>deliberately coined in response to such a culinary
>interpretation of "melting pot". And I'm certain, though I
>can't give a citation, that the first time I saw "salad
>bowl", or one of the very first times, it was accompanied by
>an explicit assertion of that contrast to the "melting pot",
>just as you describe and cite:
>#The underlying idea is that when you combine salad
>#ingredients they retain their "identity": the lettuce is
>#still recognizable as lettuce, the carrots as carrots,
>         [snip citation]
>-- Mark A. Mandel
>    Linguist at Large

And a third metaphor is the "patchwork quilt," used by Jesse Jackson
(though perhaps not coined by him?).  It's not culinary but is quaintly
domestic, with the separate pieces idea.

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

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