This landmark essay collection begins with a powerful introduction situating the demographic transitions reshaping American life, and the contributors present a broad-ranging look at the value of diversity to democracy and civil society. They explore the paradoxes of diversity and inequality in the fifty years following the civil rights legislation of the 1960s, and they review the ideals that have governed our thinking about social cohesion—such as assimilation, integration, and multiculturalism—before delving into the new ideal of social connectedness. The book also examines the demographics of the American labor force and its implications for college enrollment, graduation, the ability to secure a job, business outcomes, and the economy. Contributors include Danielle Allen, Nancy Cantor, Anthony Carnevale, William Frey, Earl Lewis, Nicole Smith, Thomas Sugrue, and Marta Tienda. Commentary is provided by Kwame Anthony Appiah, Patricia Gurin, Ira Katznelson, and Marta Tienda.
At a time when American society is swiftly being transformed, Our Compelling Interests sheds light on how our differences will only become more critical to our collective success.